a bird's eye view

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a bird's eye view

1. A view looking down at an object or area from a high elevation (as if from the perspective of a bird in flight). From up here you can get a bird's eye view of the entire campus. Wow, what a stunning bird's eye view of Los Angeles. Hey, stand on the roof of that building with your camera—you'll get a bird's eye view of our lead actress walking down the street.
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. I've hired a consulting firm to get a bird's eye view of our company and see where we can cut costs without causing too much disruption otherwise. Hold on, you're too close to this situation. If you could somehow see a bird's eye view of it all, I think you'd really get some perspective.
See also: eye, view
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bird's-eye view

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.
See also: view
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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]
See also: eye, view
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.
See also: view
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a bird's-eye view

a general view from above.
See also: view

—'s-eye view

a 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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a ˌbird’s-eye ˈview (of something)

a good view of something from high above: From the church tower you get a bird’s-eye view of the town.
See also: view
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bird's-eye view, a

An overall view, the large picture. The term dates from about 1600 and not only means “panoramic” but also may imply a somewhat superficial picture. Thus a “bird’s-eye view” of music history, for example, may try to cover five hundred years of musical composition in a one-semester course. A 1989 New York Times headline, “Human-Eye View,” announcing a special tour of a natural history museum’s ornithology collection, gave this cliché a new twist.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
NATURE lovers can again enjoy a bird's eye view of peregrine falcons nesting at Rochdale town hall.
The system offers an omni-directional perspective from the 360-degree cameras that create a bird's eye view of the vehicle, while ultra-wide angle side cameras are activated with vehicle's turn signals.
AN Arctic tern gets a bird's eye view of exactly what this twitcher is up to - by perching on his head.
The Atkinsons, from Ainsdale, won the chance to be photographed for A Bird's Eye View after son Oscar, who is six tomorrow, persuaded parents Craig and Joanne to enter a competition.
HIGH.FLYING Walsall are taking a bird's eye view to keep the seats at Bank's Stadium free of pigeon poo.
A BIRD'S EYE VIEW I looked down at Coventry from a restaurant up high, Got a bird's eye view almost from the sky, Looked over to Spencer Park and I saw there, Varied trees now clothed in summer leaves so fair.
School ICT co-ordinator Carl Aspey said: "Once they have hatched it will truly be a bird's eye view of the little chicks growing before their eyes, as the mummy and daddy birds feed them constantly through the day."
Mark Lawton, Asda's customer planner for fresh meat and fish, said: "Our security guard has a bird's eye view of our precious gobblers.
The presentation by Tim Tompkins, president of the alliance, will take place in the 30th Floor Conference Center of 3 Times Square, giving attendees a bird's eye view of the problems and the potential of the Times Square streetscape.
"It's like a map of the yard and house--what it looks like from a bird's eye view," Gabe tells her.
To create a bird's eye view an artist would usually begin by choosing a position or angle from which the city would be depicted, and, if possible, he would view the city from that spot.
This week we get to see a bird's eye view of Asia and Australia.
Scientists know that a bird's eye view is much more colourful than that of a human.