Definition of supervise in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsuːpəvʌɪz/


[with object]
1Observe and direct the execution of (a task or activity): the sergeant left to supervise the loading of the lorries
More example sentences
  • Its objective is to win hearts and minds not to supervise the activities that need to be carried out to make the changes effective.
  • Our artists are directly involved in supervising the printing process.
  • He was later promoted to senior vice president supervising global growth and technology initiatives.
superintend, oversee, be in charge of, be in control of, preside over, direct, administer, manage, run, look after, be responsible for, govern, operate, conduct, organize, handle, guide, steer, pilot
1.1Observe and direct the work of (someone): nurses were supervised by a consultant psychiatrist
More example sentences
  • But more often the causes were informational: it was too costly to monitor quality on the output side, and firms needed to observe and supervise workers in the plant itself.
  • Will the company then be held liable for improperly supervising its employee on the property in question?
  • The shift to an increasingly mobile workforce means that many managers supervise employees they rarely see face-to-face.
1.2Keep watch over (someone) in the interest of their or others' security: the prisoners were supervised by two officers
More example sentences
  • The families said if he had employed three more security staff to supervise exit doors on the night of the fire, it would have cost him £50 more in wages or about £1 for each life lost.
  • There are now-classic images of field labor gangs supervised by mounted guards.
  • First, the more compact spatial organization of the house reduces staff time spent on supervising and escorting prisoners.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'survey, peruse'): from medieval Latin supervis- 'surveyed, supervised', from supervidere, from super- 'over' + videre 'to see'.

  • advice from Middle English:

    Advice is from Old French avis, based on Latin videre ‘to see’. The original sense was ‘a way of looking at something’, ‘a judgement’, which led later to ‘an opinion given’. Supervise (Late Middle English) ‘to over see’ and words at vision are from the same root.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: super|vise

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