It is defined as sudden movement of the eye to look around keeping the head where it is. I remember it being a noun. It was of six or more characters.

It can exactly or roughly fit in all these sentences:

example - you have hurt your eye. X is not advised.

ciliary muscles facilitate X.

Bulls have better X, therefore better awareness of their environment.

  • Something like "ocular mobility"?
    – user 66974
    Jan 25, 2018 at 13:44
  • 1
    The Wikipedia page on eye movement doesn't suggest any single word alternatives. Oh wait, did you mean "saccade"?
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 25, 2018 at 13:45
  • 1
    @MrLister I was thinking of 'glimpse' but 'saccade' sounds more likely.
    – BoldBen
    Jan 25, 2018 at 15:23
  • ah sorry @MrLister - i did not notice you already gave the answer up here.
    – Fattie
    Jan 25, 2018 at 16:21
  • Notice in the title the OP writes "looking at something..." I fear OP more means the act of "moving" the eyeballs per se, rather than the concept of "looking" at it.
    – Fattie
    Jan 25, 2018 at 16:26

4 Answers 4


It's possible you're looking for


This is a very useful word when describing stuff such as dog "language" (dogs, in fact, saccade to indicate what they are telling you), and technical BS like the way the absurd "unlock" function works in the latest eye-recognition nonsense in phones.

As a footnote, one could argue that "saccade" "really" or historically means more along the lines "repeated back and fore movement" (let's say, like "shaking or vibrating" rather than like "moving"), but in practice saccade is exactly the word used for what the OP describes.

FTR in the three actual examples the OP gives, I would use "eye movement" or "eye motion".

Note that say "pointing" or perhaps "flicking" or "scratching" has a specific meaning with your finger. But one would say "After a fracture, avoid all finger movement." You would not say "...avoid all pointing", etc.

  • yes. yes. yes. the cranial tch is gone now.
    – vickyace
    Jan 26, 2018 at 9:59

The only one that comes to my mind is "oblique," or a similar term like "askew" or "sidelong," but all of those can carry implications of mistrust or doubt. I don't believe there's a single term in English to describe this.

If I were to fill in your examples, I would say:

You have hurt your eye. Moving your eyes is not advised.

Ciliary muscles facilitate occular range of motion.

Bulls have [a] better field of view [and] therefore [a] better awareness of their environment.

Although I'd probably use "wider" instead of "better" in that last example. "Better" is ambiguous without more context.

The problem you'll face is that many of the potential terms are similar to idioms for mistrust or doubt or not seeing well.

To see "out of the corner of your eye" is synonymous with "catching a fleeting glimpse." It's seeing something only briefly, not just from the more literal corner of your visual range of motion.

To view something "askew" might imply that what you're seeing is off-balance or strange; "look askew" can carry a similar meaning as "look askance" which only means to doubt, question, or mistrust. Similarly, a "sidelong glance" connotes body language of trying to keep a secret.


avert (merriam dictionary)

: to turn away or aside (the eyes, one's gaze, etc.) in avoidance

: to see coming and ward off : avoid


  • The OP specifically says: "I remember it being a noun." and "It was of six or more characters.", so this doesn't fit the bill.
    – Laurel
    Jan 25, 2018 at 15:04
  • i stand corrected! did not pay attention to OP specific request to a noun with a character count. I too believe saccade is best.
    – lbf
    Jan 25, 2018 at 15:37

Bulls have better ocular motility. How motile are your eyes?

Read all about it here: motility

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