Help with 見送る

What does “To See Off” mean? Translating 見送る to US english on DeepL gives me “to see out” but UK english gives me “see you soon”.
Once again I think it’s my english that’s bottlenecking me, but I’m having a hard time figuring out what this verb even means.

To see someone off means to go with them for a bit when they are leaving, rather than just say goodbye.

You take someone to the train station, or walk them out to their car, etc.


I see. Is it not weird that japanese has a verb for this?

But English does too…? I mean, it’s a phrasal verb, but that’s just how English tends to do things like that.


To see off in English is like - when people were visiting and you say goodbye and follow them to their car and wave as they go to see them off, or take a departing friend to the airport and say goodbye - you’re seeing them off as they leave on their trip.

Weblio gives a lot of different (only slightly different) senses - 見送る is literally constructed like “to see and send away” - so it can refer to lots of different cases where you’re watching or attending on something as it leaves.

  • watching something as it leaves, like a plane taking off or a guest departing

  • going along with a visitor returning to their home for some portion of their trip

  • sending someone departing on their trip off to their destination

  • preparing someone for death or attending their funeral (a more euphemistic use of the phrase)

You’ll notice over time that many (if not most?) English prepositional phrases are compound verbs in Japanese. Like, e.g. what in English would be “stab to death” is 刺し殺す “stab and kill” in Japanese.
In that way 見送る is pretty literally similar to “see off,” since they both denote you looking while something else leaves. The difference is just how the two languages construct these kinds of complex verb phrases - one using a preposition, one using a second verb.