Some people have eyes that look rather different than most people's, with their whole upper eyelids (*) being very visible. Is there a term or an adjective for eyes like these?

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(*) By "eyelid" I meant the part below the eyelid crease (Perhaps that's anatomically wrong)

  • Are you looking for hooded? Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 6:04
  • @WeatherVane 'hooded' seems to be the opposite of these
    – MWB
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 6:45
  • 1
    It was a comment suggestion because I don't follow the description: in the second picture the whole upper eyelid isn't visible. Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 6:46
  • 1
    I always thought that 'hooded' means the upper lid is seen to cover the eyeball like a hood. Perhaps 'droopy' then. Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 6:51
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    It's Nancy Pelosi! I was stumped there; fun game!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


In English, eyelids are said to be hooded or prominent. One or the other. Not both at the same time. The pictures show prominent eyelids.

Next up on my eye makeup series is makeup for prominent eyelids. This will also feature tips for deep set eyes. Those two types of eyes often go together, so I will address both in this blog.

I am often envious of these eyes, as I have hooded eyes and I have to contour the crap out of my eyes to give them dimension! Every eye shape has its own beauty and benefits, and every shape has its difficulties!

prominent eyelids

  • @Mari-LouA I don't think it could be clearer. It gets the point across.
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 15:32
  • @Mari-LouA No, she says prominent eyes are often found with deep-set eyes. Then right after that she says: She is envious because her eyes are hooded. So, she has contrasted prominent AND hooded.
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 16:10
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    Then please make it clear which term refers to the images displayed in the question. Because I read the answer as saying they can be called either "hooded" or "prominent". Just to be clear, hooded eyes are not the same as a prominent eyes, the former is where the excess flesh under the brow effectively covers the upper eyelid when the eye is open.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 16:20
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    I show you a picture of a fat person, you tell me a person can be fat or thin. That doesn't tell me what the word for a big person is.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 16:37
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    @Mari-LouA No, that does not tell you what the word for a big person is. But that is a third term. I am trying to come to an agreement here, and I explained my thinking to you. I have now edited the question so it should be clear.
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 16:39




2: having lids especially of a specified kind —usually used in combination //heavy-lidded eyes


heavy-lidded eyes

eyes with large eyelids

Glamour writes:

Got Heavy-Lidded Eyes? Here's a Perfect Makeup Look for You

with a picture of Penelope Cruz.

enter image description here

This strikes me as a misnomer though. Eyes like these should have been called light-lidded, because they literally have lighter eyelids.


As a medical condition this is called "drooping eyelids" or "ptosis".

                                                                   enter image description here (ref.)

However, it appears that this term can be used in the description of someone's eyelids as a characterization of their inherited natural position.

(ref.) "Take Gisela away, Frau von Herbeck," he said with perfect composure. His entire self-possession was most striking in contrast with the passion displayed by the blind woman. The very shape of the man's head and features was calculated to express high-bred repose. His drooping eyelids veiled his glance , and made it unfathomable , and his slightly aquiline nose looked as if chiselled on the face , which , although not full , never revealed the play of a single muscle .

(ref.) Wilde's own drooping eyelids have been frequently remarked upon: they were satirized in Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations to Salome.

                               enter image description here

                               Oscar Wilde

(ref.) He had drooping eyelids as if he'd just awoken from slumber that gave him an aura of sensuality. He was older than she would have liked, no longer a young ...

  • 👀 Is this something eyes do or something eyelids do—or both? 👁 Is then what you’re suggesting here for the answer actually the verb to droop? Or the adjective droopy as in droopy drawers? Or the deverbal adjective drooping used attributively? Or the past participle drooped used passively or predicatively or attributively? Or the adverb droopingly? Or the noun ptosis, possibly used attributively? Or the adjective ptotic? Or the adverb ptoticly? Or the adjective ptotical? Or the adverb ptotically? 😇
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 14:21
  • @tchrist "He glanced at her through his ptotic. lizard-like eyes." I did get a laugh out of your comment here and up there, I have to say.
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 15:05
  • @tchrist Suggesting, in this context of finding a term, is beyond my "function": there might be a couple of terms yet to appear on the post, and I think I have determined one, so, that wouldn't be judicious. I think that even if the term "drooping eyelids" has two uses (medical (plenty of occurrences) and current language with no medical overtones (comparatively rare), it can be used in that latter domain. There is a possible problem of ambiguity (that the context should clear up) with the verb and the deverbal adjective; one thing is certain and that is that in such constructions as (1/3)
    – LPH
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 15:09
  • @tchrist "his eyelids drooped" one can read the assertion of a momentary situation (due to weariness, or a particular state of mind perhaps), but I have no certitude as to whether this is a valid enunciation as the characterization of the permanent shape of someone's eyelid aperture. "Ptosis" and its derivatives are definitely out, I think; inherited characteristics may be changed through aesthetic surgery but they are not to be associated with medical conditions, it's best to keep the two things apart; (2/3)
    – LPH
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 15:09
  • @tchrist after all, although eyelids not fully retracted seem to be undesirable, there are people who might not be so disatified with this particularity of their eye shape. One might note that both the present day leader of Japan and that of China, Shinzo Abe and Xi Jinping, have this feature in a characteristic degree (ref.). (3/3)
    – LPH
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 15:10

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