See Eye to Eye

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Meaning of Idiom 'See Eye to Eye'

To see eye to eye with someone means to agree with them; to think alike; to have similar opinions or viewpoints. 1,2

Usage

"Frank and I could never see eye to eye."

"The two detectives made bad partners. They could not even see eye to eye on what to have for lunch."

"If we can't see eye to eye on even the smallest thing, there is no point in continuing this relationship."

Origin

The idiom is thought to derive from the Bible, the book of Isaiah, 52:8:

"Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion."

The Bible passage, however, does not actually mean that they will agree and according to the Oxford English Dictionary it is a misapplication of phrase. 3

Later versions of the Bible have replaced the phrase "see eye to eye" with supposedly correct translations:

*…see it with their own eyes - New International Version
*…see with their own eyes - English Standard Version
*…before their very eyes they see - New Living Translation
*…for every eye will see - Holman Christian Standard Bible
*…for eye to eye they see - English Standard Version

Sources
1. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
2. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.
3. Bengelsdorf, Peter. Idioms in the News - 1,000 Phrases, Real Examples. N.p.: Amz Digital Services, 2012.

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