From Middle English surveyen, from Old French sourveoir, surveer (to oversee), from sour-, sur- (over) + veoir, veeir (to see), from Latin videre. See sur- and vision.


  • (noun):
    • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsɜːveɪ/, /sɜːˈveɪ/[1]
    • (file)
    • (US) enPR: sûrʹvā, sər-vāʹ, IPA(key): /ˈsɝˌveɪ/, /sɚˈveɪ/[2][3]
    • In both Britain and America, the variant with initial stress is now significantly more common than that with final stress.
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)veɪ
  • (verb):
  • Rhymes: -eɪ


English Wikipedia has an article on:

survey (plural surveys)

  1. The act of surveying; a general view.
  2. A particular view; an examination, especially an official examination, of a particular group of items, in order to ascertain the condition, quantity, or quality.
    A survey of the stores of a ship; a survey of roads and bridges; a survey of buildings.
  3. The operation of finding the contour, dimensions, position, or other particulars of any part of the Earth's surface.
  4. A measured plan and description of any portion of country.
    The owners of the adjoining plots had conflicting surveys.
  5. An examination of the opinions of a group of people.
    The local council conducted a survey of its residents to help it decide whether to go ahead with the roadside waste collection service.
  6. A questionnaire or similar instrument used for examining the opinions of a group of people.
    I just filled out that survey on roadside waste pick-up.
  7. (historical) An auction at which a farm is let for a lease for lives.
  8. (US) A district for the collection of customs under a particular officer.


Derived termsEdit



survey (third-person singular simple present surveys, present participle surveying, simple past and past participle surveyed)

  1. To inspect, or take a view of; to view with attention, as from a high place; to overlook
    He stood on a hill, and surveyed the surrounding country.
  2. To view with a scrutinizing eye; to examine.
    • 1681, John Dryden, The Spanish Fryar: Or, the Double Discovery. [], London: [] Richard Tonson and Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 6484883, Act V, page 66:
      [] with ſuch alter'd Looks, [] / All pale, and ſpeechleſs, he ſurvey'd me round;
    • 2012, James Lambert, “Beyond Hobson-Jobson: A new lexicography for Indian English”, in World Englishes[1], page 297:
      By using the same classification system for all the dictionaries surveyed, it was possible to compare the lexical richness of each against the other.
  3. To examine with reference to condition, situation, value, etc.; to examine and ascertain the state of
    It was his job to survey buildings in order to determine their value and risks.
  4. 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
    to survey land or a coast
    • 1960 March, J. P. Wilson & E. N. C. Haywood, “The route through the Peak - Derby to Manchester: Part One”, in Trains Illustrated, page 148:
      The proposed route had been surveyed by George Stephenson and consisted of a main line 41⅝ miles in length with two short branches, to Norbury and Poynton Collieries, and to Chapel-en-le-Frith.
    • 2020 August 26, “Network News: Mid-September before line reopens, says Network Rail”, in Rail, page 10:
      He explained that engineers had been able to examine the bridge visually, and had started surveying likely sites for access roads and where to place the heavyweight crawler crane. NR was also ordering the aggregates needed for the access roads.
  5. 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.
    • 1713, Giles Jacob, The Complete Court-keeper: Or, Land-steward's Assistant
      all the Tenants Leases and Copies are surveyed
  6. To investigate the opinions, experiences, etc., of people by asking them questions; to conduct a survey; to administer a questionnaire.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ The Chambers Dictionary, 9th Ed., 2003
  2. ^ survey”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  3. ^ survey”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  4. ^ survey”, in Collins English Dictionary.
  5. ^ survey”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  6. ^ survey”, in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, →ISBN.

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of surveyen