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


  • (noun):
    • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsɜːveɪ/, or, especially formerly, as the verb
    • (US) enPR: sûrʹvā, IPA(key): /ˈsɝveɪ/, or, especially formerly, as the verb
    • The noun was formerly accented on the last syllable, like the verb.
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)veɪ
  • (verb):
  • Rhymes: -eɪ


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survey (plural surveys)

  1. The act of surveying; a general view, as from above.
    "Under his proud survey the city lies." -Sir John Denham.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.



See also[edit]


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; as, to stand on a hill, and survey the surrounding country.
    "Round he surveys and well might, where he stood, So high above." -John Milton.
  2. To view with a scrutinizing eye; to examine.
    "With such altered looks, . . . All pale and speechless, he surveyed me round." -John Dryden.
  3. 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.
  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; as, to survey land or a coast.
  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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jacob (Law Dict.) to this entry?)
  6. To dispose of after determining that something is no longer useful for its intended purpose (military) "Surveyed Old Rope." -William Bligh.

Derived terms[edit]


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