What does the idiom "be the apple of sb\'s eye" mean?

Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does be the apple of sb\'s eye mean? In what situations is be the apple of sb\'s eye used?

Meaning of "be the apple of sb\'s eye"


The idiom 'be the apple of someone's eye' is an expression that refers to a person who is greatly loved and cherished above all else. It is a metaphor that compares the person to the apple, the favorite fruit of the ancient Hebrews, which was believed to be the most beautiful and beloved of all the fruits. Thus, the idiom denotes the person who is most beloved and treasured.


The expression is derived from the Latin phrase "mala in oculos,” which translates literally to "apple of the eye." This idiom was first used in the Old English translation of the Bible, which was published in 1611. In this translation, the phrase is used to describe Israel as the people God favored above all others.


The idiom 'be the apple of someone's eye' is commonly used to refer to a person who is favored above all others and cherished deeply. It can be used both literally and figuratively; one can be the apple of the family's eye, or one can be the apple of their partner's eye. The phrase can also be used to refer to an object or accomplishment that one takes pride in, such as their career or a piece of art.

Example Sentences

  • My granddaughter is the apple of my eye; I love her and cherish her more than anything else.
  • My son's painting was the apple of his eye; he was so proud of it and showed it off to everyone who visited.
  • My daughter is the apple of her father's eye; he loves her more than anything.
  • My new job is the apple of my eye; I'm so proud of how far I've come.

The meanings of the words in the "be the apple of sb\'s eye" idiom

From One Language to Another: Idioms in Translation

Translating idioms from one language to another can be a tricky task, as the cultural context behind an idiom can be difficult to capture. For example, the French phrase "avoir le cafard" translates to "to have the cockroach," which means to feel down or depressed. Similarly, the Chinese idiom "????" (j?ng d? zh? w?) translates to "frog at the bottom of a well," which refers to someone with a narrow view of the world.


No comment has been written about be the apple of sb\'s eye yet, you can write the first comment and share your thoughts with our other visitors.
Leave a Reply