bird's-eye view, a

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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.
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.
See also: eye, view
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 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.

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
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
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