First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name See mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of See

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun See
  1. A seat; a site; a place where sovereign power is exercised.(Obs)"Jove laughed on Venus from his sovereign see." [Spenser.]
  2. Specifically:
    1. The seat of episcopal power; a diocese; the jurisdiction of a bishop; as, the see of New York.
    2. The seat of an archbishop; a province or jurisdiction of an archbishop; as, an archiepiscopal see .
    3. The seat, place, or office of the pope, or Roman pontiff; as, the papal see .
    4. The pope or his court at Rome; as, to appeal to the see of Rome.

Etymology: OE. se see, OF. se sed sied, fr. L. sedes a seat, or the kindred sedere to sit. See Sit, and cf. Siege

verb See
  1. To perceive by the eye; to have knowledge of the existence and apparent qualities of by the organs of sight; to behold; to descry; to view."I will now turn aside, and see this great sight." [Ex. iii. 3.]
  2. To perceive by mental vision; to form an idea or conception of; to note with the mind; to observe; to discern; to distinguish; to understand; to comprehend; to ascertain."Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren." [Gen. xxxvii. 14.]"Jesus saw that he answered discreetly." [Mark xii. 34.]"Who's so gross That seeth not this palpable device?" [Shak.]
  3. To follow with the eyes, or as with the eyes; to watch; to regard attentively; to look after."I had a mind to see him out, and therefore did not care for contradicting him." [Addison.]
  4. To have an interview with; especially, to make a call upon; to visit; as, to go to see a friend."And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death." [1 Sam. xv. 35.]
  5. To fall in with; to meet or associate with; to have intercourse or communication with; hence, to have knowledge or experience of; as, to see military service."Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil." [Ps. xc. 15.]"Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." [John viii. 51.]"Improvement in wisdom and prudence by seeing men." [Locke.]
  6. To accompany in person; to escort; to wait upon; as, to see one home; to see one aboard the cars.
  7. In poker and similar games at cards, to meet (a bet), or to equal the bet of (a player), by staking the same sum."I'll seeyou and raise you ten."

Etymology: OE. seen sen seon, AS. seón; akin to OFries. sīa, D. zien, OS. & OHG. sehan, G. sehen, Icel. sjā, Sw. se, Dan. see, Goth. saíhwan, and probably to L. sequi to follow (and so originally meaning, to follow with the eyes). Gr. "e`pesqai, Skr. sac. Cf. Sight Sue to follow

verb See
  1. To have the power of sight, or of perceiving by the proper organs; to possess or employ the sense of vision; as, he sees distinctly."Whereas I was blind, now I see." [John ix. 25.]
  2. Figuratively: To have intellectual apprehension; to perceive; to know; to understand; to discern; -- often followed by a preposition, as through, or into."For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind." [John ix. 39.]"Many sagacious persons will find us out, . . . and see through all our fine pretensions." [Tillotson.]
  3. To be attentive; to take care; to give heed; -- generally with to; as, to see to the house." See that ye fall not out by the way." [Gen. xlv. 24.]"Cassio's a proper man, let me see now, - To get his place." [Shak.]

Note: Let me see Let us see, are used to express consideration, or to introduce the particular consideration of a subject, or some scheme or calculation.

Note: See is sometimes used in the imperative for look, or behold. “ See. see! upon the banks of Boyne he stands.”

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. The seat within a bishop's diocese where his cathedral is located
  2. Perceive (an idea or situation) mentally ("Now I see!" and "I just can't see your point")
  3. Get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally ("I see that you have been promoted")
  4. Make sense of; assign a meaning to ("What message do you see in this letter?")
  5. Be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something ("See that the curtains are closed")
  6. Deem to be ("I don't see the situation quite as negatively as you do")
  7. Deliberate or decide ("See whether you can come tomorrow" and "let's see--which movie should we see tonight?")
  8. Find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort ("I want to see whether she speaks French" and "See whether it works")
  9. Match or meet
  10. Receive as a specified guest ("the doctor will see you now" and "The minister doesn't see anybody before noon")
  11. Imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind ("I can't see him on horseback!", "I can see what will happen", and "I can see a risk in this strategy")
  12. Come together ("I'll probably see you at the meeting" and "How nice to see you again!")
  13. Accompany or escort ("I'll see you to the door")
  14. Undergo or live through a difficult experience
  15. Perceive or be contemporaneous with ("You'll see a lot of cheating in this school" and "I want to see results")
  16. Perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight ("You have to be a good observer to see all the details", "Can you see the bird in that tree?", and "He is blind--he cannot see")
  17. See and understand, have a good eye ("The artist must first learn to see")
  18. Observe, check out, and look over carefully or inspect ("I must see your passport before you can enter the country")
  19. See or watch ("This program will be seen all over the world" and "see a movie")
  20. Observe as if with an eye
  21. Date regularly; have a steady relationship with ("Did you know that she is seeing an older man?")
  22. Go to see for professional or business reasons ("You should see a lawyer" and "We had to see a psychiatrist")
  23. Go to see for a social visit ("I went to see my friend Mary the other day")
  24. Go to see a place, as for entertainment ("We went to see the Eiffel Tower in the morning")
  25. Take charge of or deal with ("Could you see about lunch?")

From Middle English seen, from Old English sēon (“to see, look, behold, perceive, observe, discern, understand, know”), from Proto-Germanic *sehwaną (“to see”), from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷ- (“to see, notice”). Cognate with West Frisian sjen (“to see”), Dutch zien (“to see”), Low German sehn, German sehen (“to see”), Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Bokmål se (“to see”), Norwegian Nynorsk sjå (“to see”), and more distantly with Latin sīgnum (“sign, token”), Albanian shih (“look at, see”) imp. of shoh (“to see”).

From Old French sie (“seat, throne; town, capital; episcopal see”), from Latin sedes (“seat”), referring to the bishop's throne or chair (compare seat of power) in the cathedral; related to the Latin verb sedere (“to sit”).

  1. A diocese, archdiocese; a region of a church, generally headed by a bishop, especially an archbishop.
  2. The office of a bishop or archbishop; bishopric or archbishopric
  3. A seat; a site; a place where sovereign power is exercised.

    see was also found in the following language(s): Afrikaans, Estonian, Finnish, Friulian, Middle Dutch, North Frisian, Tetum, and West Frisian

    Notable Persons Named See

    See Kee Oon is a Presiding Judge of the State Courts of Singapore and Presiding Judge of theState Courts of Singapore. See was born in 1966 in Singapore.


    See Kok Luen is a soccer player for the Melaka United, Harimau Muda (football team), Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C., Kuala Lumpur FA, Kedah FA, Johor Darul Ta'zim II F.C., and Penang FA. See was born on June 3rd, 1988 in Jasin, Malacca.



    Notable Persons With the Last Name See

    Gavin MacLeod is an actor and christian activist. He has been prominent since 1955. Gavin was given the name Allan George See on February 28th, 1931 in Mount Kisco, New York, U.S.


    Heather McCartney is a potter. Heather was given the name Heather Louise See by her parents Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney on December 31st, 1962 in Tucson, Arizona.


    Chester See is an actor, musician, vlogger, and video blog. He has been prominent since 2006. Chester was given the name Chester Lionel See on April 20th, 1983.


    Jr. Elliot M. See is a test pilot, engineer, and naval aviation.


    Lisa was born on February 18th, 1955 in Paris, France.


    Carolyn was given the name Caroline Laws on January 13th, 1934 in Pasadena, California, U.S.


    Where is the name See popular?

    View popular names by state or region.

    Popularity of See as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name See as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in New York, West Virginia, or California.

    Common last names for See

    • Wong
    • Lee
    • Yang
    • Vang
    • Eng
    • Moy

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity See U.S.
      White 73.59% 64.26%
      African American 1.68% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 19.51% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.75% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 2.00% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 2.46% 16.26%

    Of Last Name See

    People with the last name See are most frequently White or Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name See

    • How Popular is the name See? See is the 18,713th most popular name of all time. As a last name See was the 3,911th most popular name in 2010.
    • How many people with the first name See have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 395 babies born with the first name See in the United States. That's more than enough people named See to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named See? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1979 when it was given as a first name to 6 new born babies.
    • When was See first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name See is Monday, October 26th, 1857.
    • What year had the most people named See born? The highest recorded use of the first name See was in 1982 with a total of 34 babies.
    • Random See Factoid: According to the 1986 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name See is not a popular baby girl's name in California. Imagine that, only 14 babies in California have the same name as you in 1986.
    • Weird things about the name See: Your name in reverse order is Ees. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Ese. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name See? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 9,081 people with the last name See.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of See? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 3 of them will have See as their last name.

    What Sees Have Visited This Page?

    Name poster for See

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    Most Popular Names

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.