What does the idiom "more to sb than meets the eye" mean?

more to sb than meets the eye is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression more to sb than meets the eye is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "more to sb than meets the eye"


The idiom ‘more to someone than meets the eye’ is used to suggest that a person or situation is more complex than it appears on the surface. It implies that there is hidden depth to be found when we look beyond what we can see with our eyes.


The phrase ‘more to someone than meets the eye’ has been in use since the late 1800’s, when it was first recorded in an article in the 'Western Monthly' magazine. It’s a phrase that has been used to describe people or situations, and refers to the fact that there is always more than meets the eye when it comes to a person or a situation.


The phrase is especially useful when talking about people. It implies that someone may be more than what we see on the surface, and encourages us to take the time to get to know someone in order to see their full character. The phrase is also used to express admiration for someone, implying that they are more complex and interesting than they may appear. It can also be used to express skepticism towards someone; suggesting that there’s more to them than meets the eye, and that they may not be all they seem.

Example Sentences

  • “He may be a bit of a loner, but there’s more to him than meets the eye.”
  • “She looks really shy, but it turns out there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye.”
  • “I don’t quite trust him—I think there may be more to him than meets the eye.”

The meanings of the words in the "more to sb than meets the eye" idiom

The power of idioms transcends languages!

"Putting the cart before the horse" is an English idiom that means doing things in the wrong order. In Russian, the similar idiom is "Кладёт колесо впереди лошади," which translates to "Putting the cart before the horse." This idiom emphasizes the idea that doing things in the wrong order can lead to confusion and problems down the line.


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