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Borrowed from Medieval Latin supervisus, from supervidere, from Latin super + videre. Doublet of survey.


supervise (third-person singular simple present supervises, present participle supervising, simple past and past participle supervised)

  1. (transitive) To oversee or direct a task or organization.
    Without someone to supervise them, the group will lack direction.
    • 1895, Sir Walter Roper Lawrence, The Valley of Kashmir, page 3:
      Strong personal government is, I believe, the only form of government possible in Kashmir for many years to come, but it is difficult for the Maharajas to supervise the administration of the valley when they are away in their winter capital Jammu.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 19, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.
    • 2012, Kathryn M. Johnson, The Insider's Guide to Supervising Government Employees[1]:
      I had learned a lot about supervising by observing other supervisors—the good things and the not-so-good things they did.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To look over so as to read; to peruse.

Related termsEdit






  1. first-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of supervisar
  2. third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present subjunctive of supervisar
  3. third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of supervisar
  4. third-person singular (você) negative imperative of supervisar




  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of supervisar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of supervisar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of supervisar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of supervisar.