see (something) against (something else)
1. To look at something in front of and in contrast to something else. You should see this painting against a plain white wall. That way, all of its colors and details really pop out. I heard a man talking to me, but all I only saw a silhouette against the moonlit sky.
2. To perceive, understand, or consider something as it exists alongside the context of something else. Most people fail to see this legislation against the years of injustice our community has been forced to endure. It's easier in hindsight to see the problem against the various sociopolitical issues of the time.
See also: see
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
see something against something
1. Lit. to view something against something else. I can't see the cars against the evening sky if their lights aren't on. The cars can't be seen against the evening sky.
2. Fig. to view or consider something within the context of something else. If you can see this issue against the background of a long series of problems, perhaps you will understand how concerned we are. You really need to see this matter against the background of what has happened before.
See also: see
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.