seen


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

have seen (one's) day

To be beyond one's prime; to be no longer useful, effective, or functional. The one-time champion seems to have seen his day, having been knocked out of the qualifying round for the fifth year in a row. The VHS, the once-dominant form of home movie entertainment, has by now truly seen its day.
See also: have, seen

Now I've seen everything!

I can't imagine seeing anything as amazing, unexpected, strange, or unbelievable as this! (Usually used hyperbolically.) Democrats and Republicans agreeing on a tax reform law? Now I've seen everything! I just saw the intern totally reduce the boss to tears in a shouting match—now I've seen everything!
See also: now, seen

in a bad light

Negatively; under unfavorable circumstances. (Typically used with the verbs "see" or "show," or some similar variation.) I'm flattered that he based a character in his novel on me, but I think I was shown in a bad light. The once-beloved mayor has been seen in a bad light ever since news of his tax-evasion scandal came to public attention.
See also: bad, light

see (the) red mist

To fall into a state of extreme anger, excitement, or competitive arousal, such as might cloud one's judgment or senses. Primarily heard in UK. Their striker isn't the most consistent player on the pitch, but once he sees red mist, you had better get out of his way. I'm not sure what happened. I was at the pub having a pint, and then someone insulted me, and I guess I must have seen red mist because, the next thing I knew, I was being dragged away with bloodied knuckles.
See also: mist, red, see

remain to be seen

To not yet be clear, certain, or known. We can see for ourselves the disaster's immediate impact, but the long-term environmental effects remain to be seen. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the president's popularity on other issues will carry over into this more controversial endeavor.
See also: remain, seen

what has been seen cannot be unseen

Disturbing or upsetting images are not easily forgotten. Even though I'm back from the battlefield now, what has been seen cannot be unseen.
See also: been, cannot, seen, unseen

children should be seen and not heard

Prov. Children should not speak in the presence of adults. (Often used as a way to rebuke a child who has spoken when he or she should not.) You may come out and meet the party guests if you'll remember that children should be seen and not heard.
See also: and, children, hear, not, seen, should

have seen better days

Euph. to be in bad condition. My old car has seen better days, but at least it's still running. She's seen better days, it's true, but she's still lots of fun.
See also: better, days, have, seen

Haven't I seen you somewhere before?

 and Haven't we met before?
a polite or coy way of trying to introduce yourself to someone. Bob: Hi. Haven't I seen you somewhere before? Mary: I hardly think so. Bill (moving toward Jane): Haven't we met before? Jane (moving away from Bill): No way!
See also: seen, somewhere

(I) haven't seen you in a long time.

Fig. an expression of greeting, often said as part of a series. Mary: Hi, Fred! Haven't seen you in a long time. Fred: Yeah. Longtime no see. Tom: Well, John. Is that you? I haven't seen you in a long time. John: Good to see you, Tom!
See also: long, seen, time

(I) haven't seen you in a month of Sundays.

Rur. I haven't seen you in a long time. Tom: Hi, Bill Haven't seen you in a month of Sundays! Bill: Hi, Tom. Long time no see. Bob: Well, Fred! Come right in! Haven't seen you in a month of Sundays! Fred: Good to see you, Uncle Bob.
See also: month, of, seen, Sundays

(I've) seen better.

a noncommittal and not very positive judgment about something or someone. Alice: How did you like the movie? John: I've seen better. Bill: What do you think about this weather? Bob: Seen better.
See also: better, seen

I've seen better heads on nickel beers.

Rur. This person is stupid. Jim's good-looking, but I've seen better heads on nickel beers. My students this term aren't what you'd call bright. I've seen better heads on nickel beers.
See also: beer, better, head, nickel, on, seen

(I've) seen worse.

a noncommittal and not totally negative judgment about something or someone. Alice: How did you like the movie? John: I've seen worse. Bill: What do you think about this weather? Gladys: Seen worse.
See also: seen, worse

They must have seen you coming.

You were really cheated. They saw you coming and decided they could cheat you easily. Andy: It cost two hundred dollars. Rachel: You paid two hundred dollars for that thing? Boy, they must have seen you coming. Bob: Do you think I paid too much for this car? It's not as good as I thought it was. Tom: It's almost a wreck. They must have seen you coming.
See also: coming, have, must, seen

would not be seen dead (doing something)

 and would not be caught dead (doing something)
would not do something under any circumstances. I wouldn't be seen dead going out with Bruno! Martha would not be caught dead going into a place like that.
See also: dead, not, seen

You ain't seen nothing yet!

Rur. The best, most exciting, or cleverest part is yet to come! (The use of ain't is a fixed part of this idiomatic expression.) Alice: Well, the first act was simply divine. Sue: Stick around. You ain'tseen nothing yet! Mary: This part of the city is really beautiful. Bill: You ain't seen nothing yet!
See also: nothing, seen

have seen better days

something is in bad condition because of heavy use The airport building had seen better days and needed a lot of repairs.
See also: better, days, have, seen

it remains to be seen

it is still unclear It remains to be seen whether the heating system is really fixed or will have to be replaced.
See also: remains, seen

have to be seen to be believed

also must be seen to be believed
so extreme that it is difficult to accept Our spacious new offices have to be seen to be believed!
See also: believe, have, seen

Children should be seen and not heard.

something that you say which means that children should be quiet I can't stand all that shouting. Children should be seen and not heard, in my opinion.
See also: and, children, hear, not, seen, should

have heard/seen the last of somebody/something

if you have heard the last of someone or something unpleasant, they will not cause you any more problems in the future (often negative) It's a worrying problem and I dare say we haven't heard the last of it. He's a very unpleasant man. I sincerely hope we've seen the last of him.
See also: have, hear, last, of

haven't seen hide nor hair of somebody/something

  (informal)
if you have not seen hide nor hair of someone or something, you have not seen them for a period of time (often + since ) I haven't seen hide nor hair of her since last Sunday, and I'm beginning to get rather worried.
See also: hair, hide, nor, of, seen

have seen better days

  (humorous)
if something or someone has seen better days, they are not in such a good condition as they used to be Our washing machine has seen better days. We were met at the hotel entrance by an ageing porter who had evidently seen better days.
See also: better, days, have, seen

have to be seen to be believed

if something has to be seen to be believed, it is so surprising or shocking that it is difficult to believe The devastation had to be seen to be believed.
See wouldn't be caught dead, have heard the last of
See also: believe, have, seen

caught dead, wouldn't be

Also, wouldn't be seen dead. Would have nothing to do with, detest, as in I wouldn't be caught dead in that outfit, or He'd not be seen dead drinking a cheap wine. This hyperbole is always put negatively. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
See also: caught

seen better days, have

Be worn out, have fallen into a state of decline, as in This chair has seen better days, or The family business has seen better days. This term was first used by Shakespeare to describe a decline of fortune ( Timon of Athens, 4:2) but soon was broadened to describe aging or deterioration in both humans and objects.
See also: better, have, seen

seen one, seen them all

One example suffices, as in I'm afraid I don't care for home movies-seen one, seen them all. This world-weary expression was first recorded in 1811. A newer idiom expressing a very similar view is been there, done that, indicating that it is boring to repeat an experience once it has lost its novelty. For example, No, I don't want to climb Mount Washington; been there, done that. This idiom was first recorded in Australia in 1983 and was popularized in America in the 1990s through a widely aired commercial for a soft drink.
See also: all, seen

seen better days

tv. showing signs of wear or exhaustion. (Always a past participle.) This coat has seen better days.
See also: better, days, seen

would not be seen dead

phr. would not do something under any circumstances. I wouldn’t be seen dead going out with Spike!
See also: dead, not, seen
References in classic literature ?
Your she is Galu; but you are neither Galu nor Krolu nor Band-lu, nor any other sort of man which I have seen before.
I've seen the ladies draw it in their books, a hundred times.
Only as this time he followed her in the night, and bare-footed, he was neither seen nor heard except once, when Rosa thought she saw something like a shadow on the staircase.
On the evening at which we have arrived he was going to enter according to custom; but the two lovers, as we have seen, only exchanged a few words before Cornelius sent Rosa back to watch over the tulip.
As I looked at the leaves and branches and gnarls, it came to me with distressing vividness that I had seen that same kind of tree many and countless times n my sleep.
This, as you have already discerned, violates the first law of dreaming, namely, that in one's dreams one sees only what he has seen in his waking life, or combinations of the things he has seen in his waking life.
He heard words spoken that were meaningless to him, and other words that he had seen only in books and that no man or woman he had known was of large enough mental caliber to pronounce.
We will say this time that you have really seen the ghost (or double) of a living person.
Negore thought of the little birds he had seen perched among the rocks and upon the bushes, and smiled, it was so simple; but he shrugged his shoulders and made no answer.
But," he says, "there are many other divers countries, and many other marvels beyond that I have not seen.
Only once had the black witch-doctor seen the devil-god, as he was most often called among the blacks, and upon that occasion Tarzan had robbed him of a fat fee, at the same time putting the lie in the mouth of Bukawai, and making his medicine seem poor medicine.
he answered, "I am a dead man, that's all, I am a dead man, I can't recover it, I have seen him.
She was a great and wilful lady: I had seen her once carried high on slaves' shoulders amongst the people, with uncovered face, and I had heard all men say that her beauty was extreme, silencing the reason and ravishing the heart of the beholders.
Somebody in there moaned with pain, and somebody else could be seen crouching over what seemed the prone body of a dead man; a lusty voice blasphemed; and the glow under each fire-door was like a pool of flaming blood radiating quietly in a velvety blackness.
Have you - you'll excuse an old woman's curiosity - have you seen the gentleman?