tunnel vision

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tunnel vision

 
1. Lit. a visual impairment wherein one can only see what is directly ahead of oneself. I have tunnel vision, so I have to keep looking from side to side.
2. Fig. an inability to recognize other ways of doing things or thinking about things. The boss really has tunnel vision about sales and marketing. He sees no reason to change anything.
See also: tunnel

tunnel vision

COMMON If someone has tunnel vision, they use all their energy and skill on something that is important to them and ignore other important things. Unfortunately, government departments tend to exhibit extreme tunnel vision. It is often beyond their capacity to appreciate or support something if it benefits more than one department. Note: This expression can also be used to show admiration for someone who has achieved a lot by concentrating on a single thing. They always say that you have to have tunnel vision to be a champion. You can't have any outside distractions at all. Note: You can also use tunnel-vision before a noun. The experts sometimes have a bureaucratic, tunnel-vision view of their mission. Note: Tunnel vision is a medical condition in which someone can only see things that are immediately in front of them, and cannot see things that are to the side.
See also: tunnel

(have) ˌtunnel ˈvision

(disapproving) (have) an interest in only one small part of something instead of the whole of it: He’s got tunnel vision about music. He thinks only the classics are worth listening to.
See also: tunnel
References in classic literature ?
The tumult of mind into which I was thrown by this hideous vision made me ill for several days, and prolonged our stay at Vienna.
The future, even when brought within the compass of feeling by a vision that made me shudder, had still no more than the force of an idea, compared with the force of present emotion--of my love for Bertha, of my dislike and jealousy towards my brother.
I thought I should gain confidence even for this, if my vision of Prague proved to have been veracious; and yet, the horror of that certitude
For it was a vision and a foresight:--WHAT did I then behold in parable?
In natural science, I have understood, there is nothing petty to the mind that has a large vision of relations, and to which every single object suggests a vast sum of conditions.
It is a sordid life, you say, this of the Tullivers and Dodsons, irradiated by no sublime principles, no romantic visions, no active, self-renouncing faith; moved by none of those wild, uncontrollable passions which create the dark shadows of misery and crime; without that primitive, rough simplicity of wants, that hard, submissive, ill-paid toil, that childlike spelling-out of what nature has written, which gives its poetry to peasant life.
And then there came to him as in a vision another fair and beautiful face--Bertrade de Montfort's--and Norman of Torn was still more puzzled; for at heart he was clean, and love of loyalty was strong within him.
But with the vision of that other face there came to him a faint realization that mayhap it was a stronger power than either friendship or fear which caused that lithe, warm body to cling so tightly to him.
He did not, for there was always the vision of Bertrade de Montfort before him; and now another vision arose that would effectually have sealed his lips had not the other--he saw the Outlaw of Torn dangling by his neck from a wooden gibbet.
And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take and take in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?
Moreover, I said, you must not wonder that those who attain to this beatific vision are unwilling to descend to human affairs; for their souls are ever hastening into the upper world where they desire to dwell; which desire of theirs is very natural, if our allegory may be trusted.
Her reason told her that all the visions she beheld were but the children of her imagination, and the conviction was strengthened by the fact that in the morning no traces remained of the nocturnal phantoms, who disappeared with the coming of daylight.
It was the first time one of these visions had ever addressed her in a living voice, and she was about to utter an exclamation.
But the things Rivera fought for burned in his brain--blazing and terrible visions, that, with eyes wide open, sitting lonely in the corner of the ring and waiting for his tricky antagonist, he saw as clearly as he had lived them.
But more visions burned before the eye of Rivera's memory.