a bird's eye view
1. A view looking down at an object or area from a high elevation. As much as I'd love to go to the observation deck of the Empire State Building and see New York City from a bird's eye view, I'm afraid that my acrophobia will prevent me from enjoying the experience.
2. A consideration of a problem or situation from a comprehensive perspective. In order to determine why the company was headed towards a fiscal disaster, the CFO had to take a step back and get a bird's eye view of the situation so he could locate the cause of the problem.
1. Lit. a view seen from high above. We got a bird's-eye view of Cleveland as the plane began its descent. From the top of the church tower you get a splendid bird's-eye view of the village.
2. Fig. a brief survey of something; a hasty look at something. The course provides a bird's-eye view of the works of Mozart, but it doesn't deal with them in enough detail for your purpose. All you need is a bird's-eye view of the events of World War II to pass the test.
bird's eye view
An overview, as in This balcony gives us a bird's eye view of the town, or This course gives you a bird's eye view of history-from Eolithic man to the Gulf War in one semester . This expression can be used literally, for a panoramic view such as a bird might see, as well as figuratively. [c. 1600]
a bird's-eye view
1. If you have a bird's-eye view of a place, you are looking down on it from a high position and can see all of it. His pilot's licence enabled us to have a bird's-eye view of the beautiful countryside.
2. If you have a bird's-eye view of a situation, you know what is happening in all the parts of it. I was a parliamentary journalist, so I had a bird's eye view of the way politicians encourage people to believe in dreams. Note: People often change bird to a word that is relevant to what they are talking about. He seems to have a soldier's eye view. He has a child's eye view of the war based on his own experiences. Compare with a worm's eye view.
a bird's-eye viewa general view from above.
—'s-eye viewa view from the position or standpoint of the person or thing specified.
The most common versions of this phrase are bird's-eye view (see bird) and worm's-eye view (see worm).
1982 Ian Hamilton Robert Lowell There is a kind of double vision: the child's eye view judged and interpreted by the ironical narrator.