What Does Catch Someone’s Eye Mean?

Catch Someone’s Eye Meaning

Definition: To get someone’s attention.

The phrase to catch someone’s eye means to attract someone’s attention. In some cases, it has a more literal connotation; someone may try to catch someone’s eye by attempting to make eye contact.

To catch someone’s eye can also mean to pique someone’s interest in a romantic context.

Ways to Use To Catch Someone’s Eye

catch my eyesIf you are trying to catch someone’s eye, you are trying to get his or her attention in some way. This phrase commonly refers to romantic interest. For example, if a man says he would like to catch her eye, he may hope she will display a romantic interest in him. The meaning will depend on the context of the conversation.

A related phrase, to catch my eye, has a slightly different meaning. If something catches your eye, it means that it commands your attention. If you see a nice piece of jewelry while shopping and stop to look at it, you might say it caught your eye.

Examples of To Catch Someone’s Eye

catch the eyeAn example conversation between two friends at a restaurant illustrates the correct use of this phrase in its most commonly used context.

Jerry: The waiter keeps ignoring me, even though I know he sees my empty glass.

Todd: Try to catch his eye next time he walks past.

The following sentence demonstrates the correct use of this phrase in a romantic context.

She was just about to leave to go home, but, as she turned to walk out the door, the man standing alone at the bar caught her eye.

More Examples

  • As you’ve probably already heard, you’ve got about six seconds to catch someone’s eye (or be passed over), so having a resume that packs a punch and tells a great story quickly is key. –USA Today
  • We read books and fairy tales where the only accomplishment of the lead female was to be lovely enough to catch someone’s eye. –The Washington Post


The English phrase to catch someone’s eye means to get someone’s attention by using general means, attempting to make eye contact, or in a romantic way.