Here is the quote from cnn.com:

Undeterred, Bose moved the start of the rebellion to February 19 -- but the simultaneous plot was suppressed by counter-intelligence operations that saw many revolutionaries executed, imprisoned and exiled.

The definition of see I think fits this context is the following (from here):

if a place or a period of time sees an event, the event happens in that place or during that time (The region has seen some of the fiercest fighting in the war.)

The place/period being "the plot being suppressed by intelligence operations" and the event being "many revolutionaries executed, imprisoned and exiled".

Have I got this right?



The verb to see has a large multiplicity of senses, many of which have no direct connection to eyesight - e.g. I can see why he would think that; she lived to see her 100th birthday; he saw the visitor to the waiting taxi, the doctor will see you in fifteen minutes.

But it is the OED sense 23b(c), which perhaps comes closest to what you have observed.

23b (c). transitive. Of a time, place, or other context: to be the setting in which (an event, development, etc.) takes place. In later use sometimes with causative sense: to result in (an event, development, etc.). Cf. witness v. 4b. Also with complement expressing the event, development, etc.

1643 Earl of Newcastle Answer Late Declar. Ld. Fairefax 5 England did never see such..a Challenge of Military Supremacy.

1739 C. Wesley in J. Wesley & C. Wesley Hymns & Sacred Poems ii. 211 Hail the Day that sees Him rise, Ravish'd from our wishful Eyes.

a1771 T. Gray Ode in W. Mason Mem. Life & Writings (1775) 236 The sullen year Saw the snowy whirlwind fly.

1837 A. Alison Hist. Europe from French Revol. VI. xlvii. 399
Eighteen rivers have seen their navigation improved.

1868 New Eng. Base Ballist 6 Aug. 3/1 The second inning saw a change as the Champions went out for two runs.

1895 F. B. Workman & W. H. Workman Algerian Mem. 77 A bright cold morning saw us in the saddle at 6.15.

1907 A. Lang Hist. Scotl. IV. 408 In 1906 Cambridge saw three or four of her most learned men compete for the Greek chair.

1981 Times 14 Apr. 22/2 Interim results from Burton saw 2p advance to 137p.

1993 Age (Melbourne) (Nexis) 1 Oct. 29 An injury-time goal saw the team go out to Levski Sofia.

2011 Atlantic Nov. 116 Recent years have seen an explosion of male joblessness.

Sense 24d, is also of interest.

24d. transitive. Of a thing: to undergo, be subjected to (use, wear, etc.).

1839 L. M. Sargent As Med. 41 in Temperance Tales VI. A dirty, broken tumbler, which had evidently seen hard service in its day.

1847 M. L. Sweetser Double Courtship vi. 40 The invalid drew on an over-coat which had seen much wear and many repairs.

1916 Amer. Man. Presswork 5/2 Since there were no duplicating machines and no typewriters in those days, the Army press saw plenty of use.

1991 Bicycle Guide Sept. 71/1 The small chainring is an essential part of any mountain bike that sees action in speed-limiting zones.

2015 Belfast Tel. (Nexis) 19 Sept. 13 Given the amount of footfall, the magnificent bar has seen some wear and tear.


“Saw” used in the phrase above means that counter-intelligence operations executed a lot of revolutionaries. Hope this helps!

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