From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English overseen, ouverseen, from Old English ofersēon (to observe, oversee; to overlook, neglect), equivalent to over- +‎ see.


  • IPA(key): /əʊvə(ɹ)siː/
    • (file)
  • Hyphenation: over‧see
  • Rhymes: -iː
  • Homophone: oversea


oversee (third-person singular simple present oversees, present participle overseeing, simple past oversaw, past participle overseen) (transitive)

  1. (literally) To survey, look at something in a wide angle.
  2. (figuratively) To supervise, guide, review or direct the actions of a person or group.
    Synonym: superintend
    It is congress's duty to oversee the spending of federal funds.
    • 2022 February 9, Tom Allett, “The BTP's eyes and ears in the air”, in RAIL, number 950, page 50:
      Based at BTP's London headquarters, Russell's team of three full-timers in the drone unit are responsible for overseeing the safety of drones in support of police officers.
  3. To inspect, examine
    Gamekeepers oversee a hunting ground to see to the wildlife's welfare and look for poachers.
  4. (obsolete) To fail to see; to overlook, ignore.
  5. To observe secretly or unintentionally.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


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

See also[edit]