in plain sight: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘in plain sight’ mean?

The idiom "in plain sight" means something is easily visible or noticeable to everyone.

Idiom Explorer

Unveiling the Enigma

The idiom "in plain sight" is a commonly used phrase in the English language. It suggests that something is easily visible or obvious to see. In other words, it is not hidden or concealed, but can be openly seen by anyone. The origins of this idiom can be traced back to the Latin phrase "in conspectu," meaning "in sight" or "within view."

In a legal context, "in plain sight" is often used when referring to evidence or wrongdoing that is right in front of someone, yet they may not immediately notice it. This implies that the person's actions or intentions are so obvious that they were inadvertently overlooked or dismissed. It's like something being "in front of one's nose," but still going unnoticed or ignored.

The words in sight were noticeable and obvious.

The idiom "in plain view" is closely related to "in plain sight." It reinforces the idea that something is easily visible or apparent, without any attempt to hide or conceal it. It's as if the object or information is right there, "in plain view," for everyone to see.

Another related idiom is "hidden in plain sight." This phrase suggests that something is intentionally concealed or disguised, yet it is still easily noticeable or visible to those who know where to look. It's a subtle way of hiding something, as if it's hiding "in plain sight."

One could say that the concept of "hide in plain sight" is similar to "hidden in plain sight." It means to conceal oneself or something else in a way that it is not immediately noticeable or sought after, even though it is easily visible or accessible to others. It's like blending into the surroundings, so that one can hide, but still be out in the open.

Overall, these idioms all revolve around the idea of visibility and concealment to some extent. Whether something is truly hidden or simply overlooked, they emphasize the significance of what is right before our eyes. So next time you come across something that seems obvious or easily noticeable, remember the idioms "in plain view," "hidden in plain sight," "hide in plain sight," and "in front of one's nose." They serve as a reminder to pay attention and not overlook what is right there in front of you.

Example usage

Here are three examples of how the idiom "in plain sight" can be used in a sentence:

  1. Despite searching all over the house, I couldn't find my car keys which were sitting in plain sight on the kitchen counter.
  2. The criminal had hidden the stolen jewelry in plain sight by placing it inside a common household object.
  3. During the game, the opposing team's strategy was to have their best player remain unnoticed in plain sight, making unexpected moves to catch our team off guard.

More "Visibility" idioms