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 ?
Ay, this was the vision that was sent me as I lay in pain and misery among the bones of my dead in the ashes of my kraal.
But this superadded consciousness, wearying and annoying enough when it urged on me the trivial experience of indifferent people, became an intense pain and grief when it seemed to be opening to me the souls of those who were in a close relation to me--when the rational talk, the graceful attentions, the wittily-turned phrases, and the kindly deeds, which used to make the web of their characters, were seen as if thrust asunder by a microscopic vision, that showed all the intermediate frivolities, all the suppressed egoism, all the struggling chaos of puerilities, meanness, vague capricious memories, and indolent make-shift thoughts, from which human words and deeds emerge like leaflets covering a fermenting heap.
And you'll sit beside me, and we'll look, not at visions, but at realities.
Emaciated arms and legs attached to a torso which seemed to be mostly distorted abdomen completed the "holy vision of her radiant beauty.
And the vision faded, and the knight, kneeling upon the ground, thanked the good saint who into that sad wood had strayed his steps, so he had seen the vision that lay there hid.
Moments, fragments, a second of vision, and then the flying waters, the winds dissipating and dissolving; then, too, the recollection from chaos, the return of security, the earth firm, superb and brilliant in the sun.
Dorothea had less of outward vision than usual this morning, being filled with images of things as they had been and were going to be.
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.
His eyes were wide apart; nothing in their field of vision escaped; and as they drank in the beauty before them the fighting light died out and a warm glow took its place.
And the vision of them, and the hurt of her hunger stirred her afresh, so that she gathered her body and measured the distance for the leap.
A colossal and formless something was rushing across the field of his vision.
My thoughts of suicide; my vision of the mother and daughter; my journey back to the metropolis, led by the apparition of the child; my voyage to Holland; my night anchorage in the unknown sea--were these, so to speak, all pieces of the same morbid mental puzzle, all delusions from which I might wake at any moment, and find myself restored to my senses again in the hotel at London?
What really decided me to go to sea was that I had caught my first vision of the death-road which John Barleycorn maintains for his devotees.
But Bishop Morehouse, oblivious to all, his eyes filled with his vision, continued:
But in his poem called The Vision of Piers the Ploughman he says, "I have lived in the land, quoth I, my name is long Will.