Definition of survey in English:


Line breaks: sur¦vey


Pronunciation: /səˈveɪ
[with object]
  • 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.
  • 2.1British Examine and report on the condition of (a building), especially for a prospective buyer: the cottage didn’t look unsafe, but he had it surveyed
    More example sentences
    • The Elizabethan-style building has been surveyed by a historic buildings expert, and a schedule of work has been drawn up to restore it to its former glory.
    • Mr Fagan is advising owners and occupiers of similar properties that their buildings should be regularly surveyed and repaired.
    • Rohcon surveyed the building a fortnight ago and rejected all claims of leaks and structural defects.
    make a survey of, value, carry out a valuation of, estimate the value of; appraise, assess, prospect; triangulate
  • 3Investigate the opinions or experience of (a group of people) by asking them questions: 95 per cent 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.
  • 3.1Investigate (behaviour 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


Pronunciation: /ˈsəːveɪ
Back to top  
  • 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, consideration, review, overview; scrutiny, scrutinization, examination, inspection, exploration, appraisal, synopsis, outline, overall picture
  • 1.1An investigation of the opinions or experience of a group of people, based on a series of questions: a survey conducted by Gardening Which?
    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.
  • 2British An act of surveying a building: the building society will insist that you have a survey done
    More example sentences
    • A surveyor, when making a building survey for a prospective purchaser, needs to advise the client of the presence and/or risk of fungal decay in the building.
    • The survey was confined to the plant room of the building below ground level, which is effectively separated from the water-filled competition pool by a wall.
    • The survey's findings were far from encouraging, and indicated major structural problems.
  • 2.1A written report detailing the findings of a building survey: the third type of report is a full structural survey
    More example sentences
    • A recent survey of both buildings revealed than an estimated £607,127 of repair and maintenance works were outstanding.
    • The survey concluded that the electrics were antiquated and that any interior work would be pointless without the large scale repair of the roof.
    • A structural survey on the building described the windmill as ‘dangerous in parts’ and immediate work was needed.
  • 3An 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.
  • 3.1A map, plan, or detailed description obtained by surveying an area.
    More example sentences
    • Other surveys were recently on view at the Fine Art Society in London and the National Museum, Cardiff, Wales.
  • 3.2A department carrying out the surveying of land: the British 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'.

More definitions of survey

Definition of survey in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman