Have you ever gotten a feeling that there is something just out of reach? Maybe you are talking to someone and you are stricken with a feeling of only seeing what’s on the surface. If so, the phrase there is more than meets the eye is perfect to describe your situation. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.
When someone says there is more than meets the eye, they mean that there is hidden information under the surface. It can also mean that a person or subject is complicated, difficult to understand, or complex in nature. It can also mean that something or someone is not as simple as they appear on the surface. Something that is more complex than assumed, or harder to complete is another meaning of the phrase more than meets the eye.
A person, place, or thing that has a significant amount of hidden qualities is said to be more than meets the eye. When the appearance does not track with what is below the surface, the phrase more than meets the eye also can apply. Basically, it means that the person or thing has more to offer than what you see at first glance.
“Don’t judge him too harshly when you first meet, there is more than meets the eye worth considering”.
“Try to remember that with most businesses, there is more than meets the eye in terms of operations”.
“Every time I interact with Gordon, I feel like there is more than meets the eye. I think he knows more than he lets on”.
“To you, she looks like an unassuming school teacher, but remember, there is more than meets the eye in her case”.
The phrase more than meets the eye first appeared in print sometime in the 1800s. The part of phrase “meets the eye” refers to what a person can physically see or observe. Most people rely on what is in front of them to make judgment calls or decisions. While this is efficient for most people, there are times when you need to do more than view the surface.
The saying came about to implore people to look closer at their dealings in both personal and professional life. It is also applied to inanimate things such as nature or historical areas. Though the phrase evolved naturally, there is no exact source to credit the phrase.
Phrases Similar to More Than Meets The Eye
- Considerably more
- Noticeably more
- Hidden talents
- Looks can be deceiving
- More than it seems
Phrases Opposite to More Than Meets The Eye
- Makes sense
What is the Correct Saying?
- The proper way to say the phrase is – there is more than meets the eye.
Ways People May Incorrectly Say More Than Meets The Eye
Some ways that there is more than meets the eye is used incorrectly are:
- Jane is really an open book, there is more than meets the eye with her.
- I told you everything I know, there is more than meets the eye, which is why I was so detailed.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase More Than Meets The Eye
Some ways that there is more than meets the eye is used correctly are:
- The movie has a lot of depth, there is more than meets the eye, for which I am pleasantly surprised.
- This is a complicated situation I can’t explain right now, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to this business deal.
- I have a gut feeling that there is more than meets the eye, so let’s keep digging to find out what’s really going on.
- My little boy can see what is in a person’s heart, he knows when there is more than meets the eye with the people around him.