Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “not see the wood for the trees”

not see the wood for the trees

UK (US not see the forest for the trees)
to be unable to get a general understanding of a situation because you are too worried about the detailsMisunderstanding
(Definition of not see the wood for the trees from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Misunderstanding, but you might be interested in these topics from the Knowing and understanding topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Translations of “not see the wood for the trees”

Word of the Day

blueprint

a photographic copy of an early plan for a building or machine

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More