Webster 1913 Edition



(but originally a
present participle
In view of the fact (that); considering; taking into account (that); insmuch as; since; because; – followed by a dependent clause;
as, he did well,
that he was so young
Wherefore come ye to me,
ye hate me?
Gen. xxvi. 27.

Webster 1828 Edition



[from see.] Perceiving by the eye; knowing; understanding; observing; beholding.
[Note. This participle appears to be used indefinitely, or without direct reference to a person or persons. 'Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me.?' Gen. 26. That is, since, or the fact being that or thus; because that. In this form of phraseology, that is understood or implied after seeing; why come ye to me, seeing that, ye hate me? The resolution of the phrase or sentence is, ye hate me; that fact being seen or known by you, why come ye to me? or why come you to me, ye seeing [knowing] that fact which follows, viz. ye hate me. In this case, seeing retains its participial character, although its relation to the pronoun is somewhat obscured. Originally, seeing, in this use, had direct relation to the speaker or to some other person. 'Mow I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not witheld thy son.' Gen. 22. Here seeing refers to I, or according to the language of syntax, agrees or accords with I. I know thou fearest God, for I see thou hast not withheld thine only son; I know thou fearest God by seeing, in consequence of seeing this fact, thou hast not withheld thine only son. But the use of seeing is extended to cases in which it cannot be referred to a specifec person or persons, in which cases it expresses the notoriety or admission of a fact in general, and is left, like the French on, in the phrases on dit, on voit, without application to any particular person.]

Definition 2021






  1. present participle of see
    • 2013 June 28, Joris Luyendijk, Our banks are out of control”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 3, page 21:
      Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic who still resists the idea that something drastic needs to happen for him to turn his life around.
Derived terms


seeing (not comparable)

  1. Having vision; not blind.


seeing (countable and uncountable, plural seeings)

  1. The action of the verb to see; eyesight.
    • 2004, Timothy D. J. Chappell, Reading Plato's Theaetetus (page 73)
      To such perceivings we give names like these: seeings, hearings, smellings, chillings and burnings, pleasures and pains, desires []
  2. (astronomy) The movement or distortion of a telescopic image as a result of turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere.

Etymology 2

Probably an elision of "seeing that" or "seeing as".



  1. (slang) Inasmuch as; in view of the fact that.
    Seeing the boss wasn't around, we took it easy.


Most common English words before 1923: thinking · beginning · unless · #629: seeing · won't · plain · rich