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. 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.

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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