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”

See all translations

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 details
Translations of “not see the wood for the trees”
in Chinese (Traditional) 只見樹木,不見森林…
in Chinese (Simplified) 只见树木,不见森林…
(Definition of not see the wood for the trees from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More