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survey Line breaks: sur¦vey

Definition of survey in English:


Pronunciation: /səˈveɪ/
[with object]
1Look closely at or examine (someone or something): 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, take a look at, observe, view, contemplate, regard, see, gaze at, stare at, eye, get a bird's-eye view of;
informal size up
literary behold
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;
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/
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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, 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.
poll, review, investigation, enquiry, study, probe, questionnaire, opinion poll, sampling, census, cross-examination, quiz, research
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.
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'.

Words that rhyme with survey

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