Definition of survey in English:


Syllabification: sur·vey


Pronunciation: /sərˈvā
[with object]
  • 1(Of a person or their eyes) look carefully and thoroughly at (someone or something), especially so as to appraise them: her green eyes surveyed him coolly I surveyed the options
    More example sentences
    • Something in the two larger puppies caught his eye and he picked one of them up, surveying it closely.
    • His eyes were worried as he helped her stand up, surveying her closely for injury.
    • She surveyed me closely through her fine spectacles.
    look at, look over, observe, view, contemplate, regard, gaze at, stare at, eye; scrutinize, examine, inspect, scan, study, consider, review, take stock of
    informal size up
    literary behold
  • 1.1Investigate the opinions or experience of (a group of people) by asking them questions: 95% of patients surveyed were satisfied with the health service
    More example sentences
    • Both groups were surveyed at baseline (prior to starting their S-L experience) and at the completion of their experience.
    • The IAS study showed that 56 percent of the organizations surveyed experienced failed international assignments.
    • The 66 physicians who were surveyed had referred patients to the study.
  • 1.2Investigate (behavior or opinions) by questioning a group of people: the investigator surveyed the attitudes and beliefs held by residents
    More example sentences
    • A new poll surveying religious opinions across different countries has some interesting results.
    • The poll surveyed the opinions of 3,667 people, aged 18 years and older.
    • In 2000 it surveyed opinion using the identical question, resulting in support of 56 percent.
    interview, question, canvass, poll, cross-examine, investigate, research, study, probe, sample
  • 2Examine and record the area and features of (an area of land) so as to construct a map, plan, or description: he surveyed the coasts of New Zealand
    More example sentences
    • In Taiwan, there are four areas which will be surveyed and examined this year by the WHO.
    • This equates to surveying an area the size of Plymouth while being able to pick out isolated features the size of a dustbin.
    • More than 750 miles of the southern part of the West Coast route has to be surveyed to record design positions.


Pronunciation: /ˈsərˌvā
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  • 1A general view, examination, or description of someone or something: the author provides a survey of the relevant literature
    More example sentences
    • There are good case studies and general surveys of terrorists and terrorist organizations, but few that try to determine whether more democracy leads to less terrorism.
    • This volume not only provides a comprehensive survey of recent work on existential meaning but is likely to have a broader appeal as well.
    • The former is a comprehensive view or survey and the latter refers to places where two forms of a language are spoken.
    study, review, consideration, overview; scrutiny, examination, inspection, appraisal
  • 1.1An investigation of the opinions or experience of a group of people, based on a series of questions.
    More example sentences
    • No steps were initiated to conduct surveys, investigations and research to identify the cause for occurrence of various types of disabilities with a view to their prevention and early detection.
    • Government figures on poverty are based on sample surveys conducted at discrete points of time.
    • Stations were also encouraged to install secure fencing, better lighting and clearer signs, and to conduct opinion surveys among passengers.
    poll, review, investigation, inquiry, study, probe, questionnaire, census, research
  • 2An act of surveying an area of land: the flight involved a detailed aerial survey of military bases
    More example sentences
    • Not only was Hutton teaching and writing textbooks, but he also undertook a land survey of the area around Newcastle for the mayor and corporation of the city.
    • Since the aerial surveys occurred in different areas and at different times of the year, it was impossible to compare their results directly.
    • What is more, they counted all of those 100 sheep in an area where the aerial survey had found no sheep at all.
  • 2.1A map, plan, or detailed description obtained by a survey.
    More example sentences
    • Other surveys were recently on view at the Fine Art Society in London and the National Museum, Cardiff, Wales.
  • 2.2A department carrying out the surveying of land: the U.S. Geological Survey


late Middle English (in the sense 'examine and ascertain the condition of'): from Anglo-Norman French surveier, from medieval Latin supervidere, from super- 'over' + videre 'to see'. The early sense of the noun (late 15th century) was 'supervision'.

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