Meaning of SURVEY in English


I. sur ‧ vey 1 S2 W2 AC /ˈsɜːveɪ $ ˈsɜːr-/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ survey , ↑ surveyor ; verb : ↑ survey ]

1 . a set of questions that you ask a large number of people in order to find out about their opinions or behaviour ⇨ poll

carry out/conduct a survey (=do a survey)

We conducted a survey of parents in the village.

survey of

a survey of US businesses

survey shows/reveals (that)

The survey showed that Britain’s trees are in good health.

2 . an examination of an area of land in order to make a map of it ⇨ surveyor

3 . British English an examination of a house or other building done especially for someone who wants to buy it ⇨ surveyor

4 . a general description or report about a particular subject or situation:

a survey of modern English literature

• • •


■ verbs

▪ carry out/do a survey

The survey was carried out by Warwick University.

▪ conduct a survey formal (=do a survey)

a survey conducted by the British Medical Association.

▪ a survey shows/reveals something

Our survey showed that many women are afraid to go out alone at night.

▪ a survey finds something

A survey found that 37 percent of students were born outside the country.

▪ a survey suggests something

Recent surveys suggest that these are the foreign languages most in demand by employers.


▪ a recent/new survey

According to a recent survey, students buy an average of 11.33 books a year for their courses.

▪ an annual survey

Every council will be required to conduct an annual survey of residents.

▪ a national survey

A national survey revealed that one in four 15-year-olds smokes regularly.

▪ an extensive survey

We conducted an extensive survey asking patients to suggest ways in which the service could be improved.

▪ a detailed survey

The author carried out a detailed survey of 32 organizations in Japan and Korea.

▪ an opinion survey

Opinion surveys showed consistently that unemployment remained a matter of concern.

▪ a customer survey

They have begun to listen carefully to their customers, through customer surveys, focus groups, etc.

■ phrases

▪ the results of a survey

The results of the survey have not yet been analysed.

• • •


▪ investigation a process in which the police or another organization try to find out the truth about a crime or accident:

Following a major police investigation, two men were arrested.


The investigation into the causes of the air crash are continuing.

▪ inquiry an official process to find out why something happened, which usually takes several months or years:

Local people are calling for an inquiry into the accident.


An independent inquiry found serious shortcomings at the children’s home.

▪ case a matter that police or officials are trying to find out information about, especially so that it can be dealt with in a court of law:

The case has never been solved.


The police say it is one of the most puzzling cases they have had to deal with.

▪ probe an investigation in which many questions are asked to find out the truth about something – used especially in journalism:

The TV show featured a probe into charges charged by high street banks.

▪ inquest a legal investigation to find out why someone died:

The inquest heard that Mr Swan was poisoned.

▪ survey a process in which people are asked questions in order to find out about their opinions or about their behaviour:

They did a survey to find out the most popular pop star.


Based on a survey of 250 companies, the report says that ‘ over two thirds of companies expect operating costs to increase as a result of addressing environmental issues.

▪ autopsy British English a medical examination of a dead person’s body, to find out why that person died:

If she died of a drug overdose, it would show up in the autopsy.

II. sur ‧ vey 2 AC /səˈveɪ $ sər-/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ survey , ↑ surveyor ; verb : ↑ survey ]

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: surveeir 'to look over' , from sur- ( ⇨ ↑ surcharge ) + veeir 'to see' ]

1 . [usually passive] to ask a large number of people questions in order to find out their attitudes or opinions:

Of the 100 companies surveyed, 10% had a turnover of £50 m to £99 m.

2 . to look at or consider someone or something carefully, especially in order to form an opinion about them:

She turned to survey her daughter’s pale face.

They got out of the car to survey the damage.

3 . British English to examine the condition of a house or other building and make a report on it, especially for people who want to buy it

4 . to examine and measure an area of land and record the details on a map:

There were many voyages to survey the ocean depths in the nineteenth century.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.