see the light
see the light
- realise or understand something
- to suddenly understand something that you had trouble understanding before
- to see the light at the end of the tunnel, means to finally understand that there can be an end to something bad
- to see the light of day means coming to the end of a very busy time
- to start believing in religion
- to come to public attention or notice
- After my terrible grade in mathematics I saw the light and started working harder.
- I was finally able to see the light after my mother took me to her favourite old movie. Now I cannot get enough of old black and white movies.
- After studying for six years, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- At the end of a very busy term the teachers will finally be able to see the light of day.
- My parents have been praying for me to see the light for years.
- Even after all of his hard work, his documentary never saw the light.
The word "light" has been used since before 900. It is an old middle English word. It is possible that the basic origin of the phrase stems from scripture. In the Bible, God was seen as a source of light. This would certainly explain why it is used in regards to people believing in religion.
It is more difficult to determine the origin of the other definition of the idiom. However, sources state that the first recorded sense of "mental illumination" was recorded in the mid-1400s.