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Related to perspective: perspective drawing


a mental view; the state of one’s ideas; vista: It looks good from my perspective.
Not to be confused with:
prospective – expected; anticipated; future: prospective earnings
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


a. A view or vista.
b. A mental view or outlook: "It is useful occasionally to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present" (Fabian Linden).
2. The appearance of objects in depth as perceived by normal binocular vision.
a. An understanding of how aspects of a subject relate to each other and to the whole: a perspective of history; a need to view the problem in the proper perspective.
b. Subjective evaluation of relative significance; a point of view: the perspective of the displaced homemaker.
c. The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance: tried to keep my perspective throughout the crisis.
4. The technique of representing three-dimensional objects and depth relationships on a two-dimensional surface.
Of, relating to, seen, or represented in perspective.

[Middle English, science of optics (influenced by French perspective, perspective), from Medieval Latin perspectīva (ars), feminine of perspectīvus, optical, from perspectus, past participle of perspicere, to inspect : per-, per- + specere, to look; see spek- in Indo-European roots.]

per·spec′tiv·al adj.
per·spec′tive·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. a way of regarding situations, facts, etc, and judging their relative importance
2. the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity: try to get some perspective on your troubles.
3. (Art Terms) the theory or art of suggesting three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface, in order to recreate the appearance and spatial relationships that objects or a scene in recession present to the eye
4. the appearance of objects, buildings, etc, relative to each other, as determined by their distance from the viewer, or the effects of this distance on their appearance
5. a view over some distance in space or time; vista; prospect
6. (Art Terms) a picture showing perspective
[C14: from Medieval Latin perspectīva ars the science of optics, from Latin perspicere to inspect carefully, from per- (intensive) + specere to behold]
perˈspectively adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(pərˈspɛk tɪv)

1. a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface. Compare linear perspective.
2. a picture employing this technique.
3. a visible scene, esp. one extending to a distance; vista.
4. the manner in which objects appear to the eye in respect to their relative positions and distance.
5. one's mental view of facts, ideas, etc., and their interrelationships: to have a clear perspective of a situation.
6. the ability to see all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship.
7. a mental view or prospect.
8. of perspective, or represented according to its laws.
in perspective, in a true or meaningful proportion or relationship: Instead of overreacting, keep things in perspective.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin perspectīva (ars) optical (science), perspectīvus optical = Latin perspect-, past participle s. of perspicere to look at closely (see per-, inspect) + -īvus -ive]
per•spec′tiv•al, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



(See also NIT-PICKING.)

by and large From an overall perspective; on the whole; in general; without going into details. The origin of this phrase and its current literal use are both nautical. It means to sail to the wind and slightly off it, or with the wind near the beam.

Thus you see the ship handles in fair weather and foul, by and large. (Samuel Sturmy, The Mariner’s Magazine, 1669)

By and large was used figuratively as early as 1706 in Edward Ward’s Wooden World Dissected. The jump from literal to figurative use is difficult to follow. This method of sailing is generally faster, a bit safer and easier (it offers less chance of being “taken aback” than sailing directly “by the wind”)—on the whole, better in the long run. It is the quality of being preferable ‘on the whole’ or ‘in general’ (even if a detailed analysis proved otherwise) that is transferred to nonnautical situations.

The virtue of sound broadcasting was that, by and large, the content mattered more than anything else. (Times, May 23, 1955)

in the long run In the end, when all is said and done; from the perspective of knowing the outcome or end result. This expression alludes to a long distance race in which runners who start slowly and conserve their energy often pull ahead and win the race, as in the story of the tortoise and the hare.

not see the forest for the trees To be so concerned with details as to lose a sense of the larger whole; to ignore the obvious, to miss the main point; to have tunnel vision. This expression appeared in print by the 16th century, at which time wood was used instead of forest. Today wood, woods, and forest are used interchangeably.

number the streaks of the tulip To be overly concerned with details and thereby miss the main point. This expression derives from Imlac’s dissertation on poetry in Johnson’s Rasselas, in which he contends that a poet should be concerned with the general rather than the particular. A related current expression is not see the forest for the trees.

over the long haul See the long haul, DURATION.

stumble at a straw To become bogged down in petty details; to suffer a setback because of a minor or trifling incident. This expression is derived from a proverb cited in Homilies (1547):

They were of so blind judgment, that they stumbled at a straw and leaped over a block.

The implication is that either as a result of misplaced priorities or poor judgment, a person may concentrate on the picayune while ignoring issues of greater significance.

He that strives to touch the stars Oft stumbles at a straw. (Edmund Spenser, The Shepheardes Calendar, 1579)

trade off the orchard for an apple Not to see the forest for the trees, to be myopic; to be so concerned with details that one loses sight of the larger whole.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A method of representing three-dimensional volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.perspective - a way of regarding situations or topics etc.perspective - a way of regarding situations or topics etc.; "consider what follows from the positivist view"
orientation - an integrated set of attitudes and beliefs
bird's eye view, panoramic view - a situation or topic as if viewed from an altitude or distance
futurism - the position that the meaning of life should be sought in the future
cutting edge, forefront, vanguard - the position of greatest importance or advancement; the leading position in any movement or field; "the Cotswolds were once at the forefront of woollen manufacturing in England"; "the idea of motion was always to the forefront of his mind and central to his philosophy"
paradigm - the generally accepted perspective of a particular discipline at a given time; "he framed the problem within the psychoanalytic paradigm"
light - a particular perspective or aspect of a situation; "although he saw it in a different light, he still did not understand"
sight - a range of mental vision; "in his sight she could do no wrong"
Weltanschauung, world view - a comprehensive view of the world and human life
straddle - a noncommittal or equivocal position
2.perspective - the appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewerperspective - the appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer
appearance, visual aspect - outward or visible aspect of a person or thing
vanishing point - the appearance of a point on the horizon at which parallel lines converge
apparent horizon, horizon, sensible horizon, visible horizon, skyline - the line at which the sky and Earth appear to meet
picture plane - the plane that is in the foreground of a drawing or painting; coextensive with but different from the objective surface of the work
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. outlook, attitude, context, angle, overview, way of looking, frame of reference, broad view The death of my mother gave me a new perspective on life.
2. objectivity, proportion, relation, relativity, relative importance helping her to get her problems into perspective
3. view, scene, prospect, outlook, panorama, vista stretching away along the perspective of a tree-lined, wide avenue
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


That which is or can be seen:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
رَسْم منْظوريمَنْظر، وُجْهَة نَظَرمَنْظُورٌ
perspektivapřehledúhel pohledu
perspektívatávlati ábrázolás
fjarvídd, dÿptarsÿnsÿn, yfirsÿn
atitinkantis perspektyvos dėsniusneatitinkantis perspektyvos dėsniųneobjektyviai
perspektifgörüş açısı
cách nhìn nhận


[pəˈspektɪv] N
1. (lit)
1.1. (Art) → perspectiva f
to be in/out of perspectiveestar/no estar en perspectiva
1.2. (= view) → vista f
2. (fig) → perspectiva f
it has given him a new perspective on lifele ha dado una nueva perspectiva or visión de la vida
I would like to offer a historical perspectiveme gustaría ofrecer una perspectiva histórica
from our perspectivedesde nuestro punto de vista
let's get things in perspectivepongamos las cosas en su sitio
he gets things out of perspectiveve las cosas distorsionadas
to keep sth in perspectiveguardar algo en su justa medida
to look at or see sth in perspectivemirar or ver algo en su justa medida
it helped me put things into perspectiveme ayudó a ver las cosas con cierta perspectiva or en su justa medida
that puts things in a different perspectiveeso le da otro cariz a las cosas
try to keep a sense of perspectivetrata de ser objetivo
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[pərˈspɛktɪv] n
(= view) → perspective f
It was impossible for me to identify with his religious perspective → Il m'était impossible de m'identifier avec sa perspective religieuse
a new perspective on sth → un nouveau regard sur qch
a new perspective on life → un nouveau regard sur la vie
(in drawing)perspective f
to get sth into perspective (fig)mettre qch en perspective
to put sth into perspective (fig)mettre qch en perspective
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (lit)Perspektive f; (fig also)Blickwinkel m; to get a different perspective on a problemein Problem aus einer anderen Perspektive or aus einem anderen Blickwinkel sehen; in perspective (Art) → perspektivisch; the foreground isn’t in perspectiveder Vordergrund ist perspektivisch nicht richtig; try to keep/get things in perspectiveversuchen Sie, nüchtern und sachlich zu bleiben/das nüchtern und sachlich zu sehen; to get something out of perspective (lit: artist etc) → etw perspektivisch verzerren; (fig)etw verzerrt sehen; in historical perspectiveaus historischer Sicht; to see things in their proper or true perspectivedie Dinge so sehen, wie sie sind; to see things from a different perspectivedie Dinge aus einem anderen Blickwinkel betrachten
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[pəˈspɛktɪv] nprospettiva
to see or look at sth in perspective (fig) → vedere qc nella giusta prospettiva
to get sth into perspective → ridimensionare qc
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(pəˈspektiv) noun
1. the way of drawing solid objects, natural scenes etc on a flat surface, so that they appear to have the correct shape, distance from each other etc. Early medieval paintings lacked perspective.
2. a picture or view of something. I would like a clearer perspective of the situation.
in / out of perspective
1. (of an object in a painting, photograph etc) having, or not having, the correct size, shape, distance etc in relation to the rest of the picture. These houses don't seem to be in perspective in your drawing.
2. with, or without, a correct or sensible understanding of something's true importance. Try to get these problems in(to) perspective; Keep things in perspective.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مَنْظُورٌ úhel pohledu perspektiv Perspektive προοπτική perspectiva näkökulma perspective perspektiva prospettiva 観点 시각 perspectief perspektiv perspektywa perspectiva, perspetiva перспектива perspektiv ทัศนคติ perspektif cách nhìn nhận 观点
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
These closely similar particulars are collected together by their similarity primarily and, more correctly, by the fact that they are related to each other approximately according to the laws of perspective and of reflection and diffraction of light.
She lacked perspective. She was too close to the events she writes about.
Having suspected from the first that there was a gentleman in the background, it is highly satisfactory to know that he recedes into the remote perspective of Asia.
They may scorn cash now; but let some months go by, and no perspective promise of it to them, and then this same quiescent cash all at once mutinying in them, this same cash would soon cashier Ahab.
I remember that at a later period of my "time," I used to stand about the churchyard on Sunday evenings when night was falling, comparing my own perspective with the windy marsh view, and making out some likeness between them by thinking how flat and low both were, and how on both there came an unknown way and a dark mist and then the sea.
It was a mere falsification of the law of aerial perspective, but it startled, almost terrified me.
But, on the other hand, directly she thought of the future with Vronsky, there arose before her a perspective of brilliant happiness; with Levin the future seemed misty.
And from the height of this perception all that had previously tormented and preoccupied him suddenly became illumined by a cold white light without shadows, without perspective, without distinction of outline.
I read these and I read several comedies of Lope de Vega, and numbers of archaic dramas in Moratin's history, and I really got a fairish perspective of the Spanish drama, which has now almost wholly faded from my mind.
Apparently this consolatory perspective of a mother's prospects failed in producing its due effect.
The perspective of one of these narrow cracks of streets, with its rows of tall houses stretching away till they come together in the distance like railway tracks; its clothes-lines crossing over at all altitudes and waving their bannered raggedness over the swarms of people below; and the white-dressed women perched in balcony railings all the way from the pavement up to the heavens--a perspective like that is really worth going into Neapolitan details to see.
You bring Trent to me; assure him that I'm his friend though i fear he a little distrusts me (I don't know why, I have not deserved it); and you've both of you made your fortunes--in perspective.'