I have a question about the usage of the verb phrase "take in" here:

Gazing about me, I took in the details of the people surrounding me in the courtyard of a Russian Orthodox church.

I checked this dictionary and none of the definitions for "take in" seems to fit the usage. Could the example sentence be poorly written?

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  • 6
    Try definition 5: "to take notice of something with your eyes" In fact the example given matches your usage almost exactly: He took in every detail of her appearance. – Jim Jun 17 '15 at 5:45
  • yes, definition 5 equals the meaning of the sentence – A. Bremer Jun 17 '15 at 16:20

No, the sentence is using 'took in' in correct (if somewhat uncommon) manner. The dictionary you link lists this use as sense 5: 'to take notice of something with your eyes'.

This sense of 'took in' is basically synonymous with 'observed' - it suggests (to me, at least) a passive watching of a scene, rather than actively looking around it.

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