Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To examine or look at comprehensively.
  • transitive v. To inspect carefully; scrutinize: "Two women were surveying the other people on the platform” ( Thomas Wolfe). See Synonyms at see1.
  • transitive v. To determine the boundaries, area, or elevations of (land or structures on the earth's surface) by means of measuring angles and distances, using the techniques of geometry and trigonometry.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British To inspect and determine the structural condition of (a building).
  • transitive v. To conduct a statistical survey on.
  • transitive v. To range one's gaze leisurely over.
  • intransitive v. To make a survey.
  • n. A detailed inspection or investigation.
  • n. A general or comprehensive view.
  • n. A gathering of a sample of data or opinions considered to be representative of a whole.
  • n. The process of surveying.
  • n. A report on or map of what has been surveyed.
  • n. An administrative agency charged with the responsibility of surveying: the U.S. Geological Survey.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of surveying; a general view, as from above.
  • n. A particular view; an examination, especially an official examination, of all the parts or particulars of a thing, with a design to ascertain the condition, quantity, or quality; as, a survey of the stores of a ship; a survey of roads and bridges; a survey of buildings.
  • n. The operation of finding the contour, dimensions, position, or other particulars of, as any part of the earth's surface, whether land or water; also, a measured plan and description of any portion of country, or of a road or line through it.
  • v. To inspect, or take a view of; to view with attention, as from a high place; to overlook; as, to stand on a hill, and survey the surrounding country.
  • v. To view with a scrutinizing eye; to examine.
  • v. To examine with reference to condition, situation, value, etc.; to examine and ascertain the state of; as, to survey a building in order to determine its value and exposure to loss by fire.
  • v. To determine the form, extent, position, etc., of, as a tract of land, a coast, harbor, or the like, by means of linear and angular measurements, and the application of the principles of geometry and trigonometry; as, to survey land or a coast.
  • v. To examine and ascertain, as the boundaries and royalties of a manor, the tenure of the tenants, and the rent and value of the same.
  • v. To dispose of after determining that something is no longer useful for its intended purpose (military) "Surveyed Old Rope." -William Bligh.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To inspect, or take a view of; to view with attention, as from a high place; to overlook.
  • transitive v. To view with a scrutinizing eye; to examine.
  • transitive v. To examine with reference to condition, situation, value, etc.; to examine and ascertain the state of.
  • transitive v. To determine the form, extent, position, etc., of, as a tract of land, a coast, harbor, or the like, by means of linear and angular measurments, and the application of the principles of geometry and trigonometry.
  • transitive v. To examine and ascertain, as the boundaries and royalties of a manor, the tenure of the tenants, and the rent and value of the same.
  • n. The act of surveying; a general view, as from above.
  • n. A particular view; an examination, especially an official examination, of all the parts or particulars of a thing, with a design to ascertain the condition, quantity, or quality.
  • n. The operation of finding the contour, dimensions, position, or other particulars of, as any part of the earth's surface, whether land or water; also, a measured plan and description of any portion of country, or of a road or line through it.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To overlook; view at large, as from a commanding position; take a comprehensive view of.
  • To oversee; view with a scrutinizing eye; examine; scrutinize.
  • To inspect or examine with reference to situation, condition, and value; inspect carefully: as, to survey a building to determine its value, etc.
  • To determine the boundaries, extent, position, etc., of, as of any part of the earth's surface by means of linear and angular measurements, and the application of the principles of geometry and trigonometry; determine the form and dimensions of, as of tracts of ground, coasts, harbors, etc., so as to be able to delineate their several shapes and positions on paper. See surveying.
  • To examine and ascertain, as the boundaries and royalties of a manor, the tenure of the tenants, and the rent and value of the same.
  • To see; perceive; observe.
  • n. A general view; a comprehensive prospect.
  • n. A particular view; an examination or inspection of all the parts or particulars of a thing, with a design to ascertain the condition, quantity, or quality: as, a survey of the stores, provisions, or munitions of a ship; a survey of roads and bridges; a survey of buildings intended to ascertain their condition, value, and exposure to fire.
  • n. In insurance, a plan or description, or both, of the present existing state or condition of the thing insured, including commonly in applications for fire-insurance the present mode of use so far as material to the risk; more loosely, the description or representations, including interrogatories and answers, constituting the application drawn up or adopted by the agent of the insurer.
  • n. The operation of finding the contour, dimensions, position, or other particulars of any part of the earth's surface, coast, harbor, tract of land, etc., and representing the same on paper; also, the measured plan, account, or exposition of such an operation. See surveying, and ordnance survey (under ordnance).
  • n. A species of auction, in which farms are disposed of for a period covering three lives.
  • n. A district for the collection of the customs, under the inspection and authority of a particular officer.
  • n. [caps.] The former name of the United States governmental bureau having charge of the national hydrographic and geodetic work. Now officially called the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of looking or seeing or observing
  • v. plot a map of (land)
  • n. short descriptive summary (of events)
  • v. consider in a comprehensive way
  • v. hold a review (of troops)
  • v. make a survey of; for statistical purposes
  • v. look over carefully or inspect
  • v. keep under surveillance
  • n. a detailed critical inspection

Etymologies

Middle English surveien, from Old French surveeir, from Medieval Latin supervidēre : Latin super-, super- + Latin vidēre, to look.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French sourveoir, surveer, from sour-, sur- ("over") + veoir, veeir ("to see"), from Latin videre. See sur- and vision. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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