'See Eye to Eye': Definition, Meaning, Examples

By Carly Forsaith, updated on September 5, 2023

Did you hear the idiom 'see eye to eye' or read it somewhere and have been wondering what it means? Then you're in the right place! This article will help clear that up for you.

In short:

  • To 'see eye to eye' with someone is to have the same attitudes and beliefs as them.

What Does 'See Eye to Eye' Mean?

To 'see eye to eye' with someone means that you agree with them or share an opinion. It could be that you agree with them on one particular thing, or that, in general, you tend to have the same beliefs about things.

For example, you might see eye to eye with your best friend about what you'd like to do when you go on vacation.

In which case, you could say:

Ella and I see eye to eye on the fact that vacations are for relaxing. Therefore we'll be going to the beach every day.

You can use this idiom in its negative form, too: 'Don't see eye to eye,' which would mean, of course, that you disagree with someone.

This phrase is an idiom, which means that you can't interpret its meaning literally based on the individual words. You just have to know what it means.

Any sentence with 'eye to eye' will generally have two subjects since it expresses an agreement between two parties.

Where Does 'See Eye to Eye' Come From?

The first use of this phrase can be traced back to a chapter of the Bible, Isaiah 52:8, in the following passage:

The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion.

However, upon closer examination of the passage, we discover that the phrase in this context wasn't used to mean that they agreed. Rather, the message is that the watchmen will all see with their own eyes the return of the Lord. In other words, they will witness it.

When the phrase first started to be used in line with its current meaning is a mystery.

Examples In Sentences

Now we've covered the meaning of this idiom, let's take a look at some examples of sentences that use it. Note that since it functions as a verb, in some of the below examples, you'll see it conjugated into different tenses.

We gave up on the project because we never saw eye to eye on anything.

For me, seeing eye to eye on things is key in a relationship.

I just don't see eye to eye with my manager; it's making things difficult at work.

He only takes on clients he sees eye to eye with.

I loathe him; we don't see eye to eye on anything.

Just because you don't see eye to eye on everything with someone doesn't mean you can't be friends. 

She's a very kind soul and we see eye to eye on many things. 

They expected us to see eye to eye because we're the same age.

I know we haven't always seen eye to eye on everything, but I still appreciate and respect you.

We see eye to eye on everyday issues like the cleaning schedule.

Other Ways to Say 'See Eye to Eye'

If you want to say that you agree with someone or tend to approach life with a similar attitude but don't want to use the same idiom over and over, are there other ways you can say it? Why, of course, there are!

Here are some of them:

  • agree with
  • be on the same page
  • sharing a common viewpoint
  • have similar views
  • be of the same mind
  • be in agreement with
  • see things similarly
  • get along with

Final Thoughts

When you 'see eye to eye' with someone, it means you have a similar outlook on life. Instead of disagreeing with them or thinking of them as different than you, you believe you have the same viewpoints and opinions about things.

Are you ready to learn more English phrases and expand your vocabulary? Be sure to check out our idioms blog for idioms, expressions, sayings, and more!

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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