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From Middle English surveyen, 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
    • (file)
    • (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


English Wikipedia has an article on:

survey (plural surveys)

  1. The act of surveying; a general view.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Denham and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Under his proud survey the city lies.
  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 three lives.
  8. (US) A district for the collection of customs under a particular officer.


Derived terms[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
    He stood on a hill, and surveyed the surrounding country.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Round he surveys and well might, where he stood, So high above.
  2. To view with a scrutinizing eye; to examine.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      With such altered looks, . . . All pale and speechless, he surveyed 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
  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 investigate the opinions, experiences, etc., of people by asking them questions; to conduct a survey; to administer a questionnaire.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.