Old English seon "to see, look, behold; observe, perceive, understand; experience, visit, inspect" (contracted class V strong verb; past tense seah, past participle sewen), from Proto-Germanic *sehwanan (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German sehan, Middle High German, German sehen, Old Frisian sia, Middle Dutch sien, Old Norse sja, Gothic saihwan), from PIE root *sekw- (2) "to see," which is probably identical with *sekw- (1) "to follow" (see sequel), a root which produced words for "say" in Greek and Latin, and also words for "follow" (such as Latin sequor), but "opinions differ in regard to the semantic starting-point and sequences" [Buck]. Thus see might originally mean "follow with the eyes."
Used in Middle English to mean "behold in the imagination or in a dream" (c. 1200), "to recognize the force of (a demonstration)," also c. 1200. Sense of "escort" (as in to see (someone) home) first recorded 1607 in Shakespeare. Meaning "to receive as a visitor" is attested from c. 1500. Gambling sense of "equal a bet" is from 1590s. See you as a casual farewell first attested 1891. Let me see as a pausing statement is recorded from 1510s.
also seesaw, 1630s, in see-saw-sacke a downe (like a Sawyer), words in a rhythmic jingle used by children and repetitive motion workers, probably imitative of the rhythmic back-and-forth motion of sawyers working a two-man saw over wood or stone (see saw (n.1). Ha ha.).
In reference to a game of going up and down on a balanced plank, it is recorded from 1704; figurative sense is from 1714. Applied from 1824 to the plank arranged for the game. Also compare teeter-totter under teeter (v.).