Turn a blind eye


      • to ignore something deliberately
        To choose to ignore or overlook something, usually something that is morally or ethically wrong, in order to avoid dealing with it or the consequences

      • to pretend not to see something
        To act as if one has not seen or noticed something, often to avoid getting involved or to avoid having to take action

    Examples of Turn a blind eye

    • The manager turned a blind eye to the employee's repeated tardiness, likely due to personal reasons.

      In this idiomatic phrase, "turn a blind eye" means to deliberately ignore something, even when it is apparent and should be addressed. The manager in this example chose to overlook the employee's habitual lateness, potentially out of compassion or understanding for the employee's unspecified personal issues.

    • The politician refused to address the scandal, instead choosing to turn a blind eye in the hopes that it would go away on its own.

      In this example, the politician has elected to ignore a controversy or problem, rather than confronting and addressing it directly. The speaker suggests that this course of action is not a viable solution for the issue at hand, as it is likely to fester and worsen over time if left unaddressed.

    • The parents turned a blind eye to their children's misbehavior during a recent family event, hoping that their offspring would learn not to repeat such behavior in the future.

      In this example, "turn a blind eye" means to intentionally overlook an instance of wrongdoing or poor behavior. The parents' decision to ignore their children's misbehavior during the family gathering may have been prompted by a desire to avoid making a scene or disrupting the festivities, but it may also have been motivated by the belief that the children would eventually learn to act appropriately without direct intervention from their parents.

    • The boss ignored the customer feedback, turning a blind eye to the repeated complaints regarding the company's products and services.

      Here, the boss chose to disregard the customers' dissatisfaction with the company's offerings, opting instead to look the other way. The speaker implies that this decision may ultimately prove costly for the company, as unsatisfied customers are likely to take their business elsewhere if their concerns continue to be ignored.

    • The boss turned a blind eye to John's repeated absences from work due to personal reasons.

      This means that the boss chose to ignore the fact that John was frequently missing work, as if he couldn't see or didn't want to see the issue. It implies that the boss didn't take any disciplinary action against John.

    • Although the evidence was overwhelming, the jury turned a blind eye to the defendant's guilt.

      This idiomatic expression is used to indicate that the jury willfully disregarded the evidence presented against the defendant, as if they couldn't see or didn't want to see the truth.

    • The government turned a blind eye to the human rights violations committed by the dictatorial regime.

      This example demonstrates the usage of the idiom in a complex scenario. It implies that the government chose to ignore the atrocities committed by the authoritative regime, as if it couldn't see or didn't want to see the abuse of human rights.

    • Even when presented with conclusive evidence, some people turn a blind eye to the scientific consensus on climate change.

      This indicates that some individuals refuse to accept the scientific evidence regarding climate change, as if they can't see or don't want to see the overwhelming scientific data. It implies that these people choose to ignore the issue rather than address it.


    The idiom "turn a blind eye" is used to describe the act of deliberately ignoring or pretending not to see something. It can be used to caution against ignoring important issues or to describe the act of ignoring something for personal convenience.

    Origin of "Turn a blind eye"

    The origin of the idiom "turn a blind eye" can be traced back to an incident involving Admiral Horatio Nelson during the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801. Nelson, who was leading the British fleet, was ordered to withdraw by his superior officer. However, Nelson chose to ignore the signal to withdraw and instead raised his telescope to his blind eye, declaring that he could not see the signal. This act of willfully ignoring the order has since become the basis for the idiom "turn a blind eye." The phrase has come to represent the act of deliberately ignoring something that one should address or confront.