turn a blind eye to

turn a blind eye to

Deliberately overlook, ignore, as in She decided to turn a blind eye to her roommate's goings-on. This expression is believed to come from the siege of Copenhagen (1801), in which Lord Horatio Nelson, second in command of the English fleet, was ordered to withdraw but pretended not to see the flagship's signals to do so by putting his glass to the eye that had been blinded in an earlier battle. His attack led to a major victory. Also see turn a deaf ear.
See also: blind, eye, turn
References in periodicals archive ?
So I learned to turn a blind eye to cheating and plagiarism and to give students, especially athletes, extra credit for everything from reading orally in class to remembering to bring their pencils.
Sports writer Hugh Dan Maclennan says he is fed up of being told to turn a blind eye to players' unruly antics.
He says: "I was told I should turn a blind eye to some things as it was giving the game a bad name.