catch sight of

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catch sight of someone or something

 and catch a glimpse of someone or something
to see someone or something briefly; to get a quick look at someone or something. I caught sight of the plane just before it flew out of sight. Ann caught a glimpse of the robber as he ran out of the bank.
See also: catch, of, sight

catch sight of somebody/something

to see someone or something only for a moment I caught sight of someone with red hair and knew it was you.
See also: catch, of, sight

catch sight of

See suddenly or unexpectedly, as in When I first caught sight of the Alps, I was overwhelmed. [First half of 1800s]
See also: catch, of, sight
References in classic literature ?
Amid all this, I confess, I wondered, too, in secret, whether we should meet, or catch a glimpse of somebody else; and as we passed his lodgings, I even went so far as to wonder whether he was at the window.
Long afterwards he remembered perhaps how one evening he had stood among the crowd tiptoeing and eager to catch a glimpse of the great Queen as she sat enthroned on a golden chair.
There were to be no ceremonious performances, everything was to be as natural and homelike as possible, so when Aunt March arrived, she was scandalized to see the bride come running to welcome and lead her in, to find the bridegroom fastening up a garland that had fallen down, and to catch a glimpse of the paternal minister marching upstairs with a grave countenance and a wine bottle under each arm.
Phileas Fogg and Sir Francis Cromarty, plunged to the neck in the peculiar howdahs provided for them, were horribly jostled by the swift trotting of the elephant, spurred on as he was by the skilful Parsee; but they endured the discomfort with true British phlegm, talking little, and scarcely able to catch a glimpse of each other.
Probably; and those steeples, pointed and sculptured, that we catch a glimpse of yonder, are similar to those that I have heard described at Chambord.
After standing a long time at the end of the wharf, gazing seaward, as if to catch a glimpse of their lost Acadia, the strangers began to stray into the town.
The youthful monarch was most eagerly anxious for amusements; only twice during the journey had he been able to catch a glimpse of La Valliere, and, suspecting that his only opportunity of speaking to her would be after nightfall, in the gardens, and after the ceremonial of reception had been gone through, he had been very desirous to arrive at Vaux as early as possible.
While some were gaping to catch a glimpse of their favourite actor, others were supporting their home team.
After a good night's sleep you head off to --, a park where you might catch a glimpse of a wild takh.