Meaning of SURVEY in English


I. sə(r)ˈvā; ˌsərˈ-, sə̄ˈ-, səiˈ-, ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ verb

( surveyed ; surveyed ; surveying ; surveys )

Etymology: Middle English surveyen, from Middle French surveer, surveeir, surveoir to look over, survey, from sur- + veer, veeir, veoir to look, see — more at view

transitive verb


a. : to look over or examine with reference to condition, situation, or value : examine and ascertain the state of : appraise , estimate , evaluate

hired to survey a manor for its extent, value, ownership, and liabilities

b. : to have oversight of : supervise

c. : to make a usually statistical survey of

survey population growth in the southern counties


(1) : to make an investigation and fix responsibility for destruction, loss, or damage of (as military equipment)

(2) : to inspect (as equipment or supplies) to determine whether retention as serviceable or condemnation as unserviceable is advisable

(3) : to retire (as men or equipment) from active duty after inspection

2. : to determine and delineate the form, extent, and position of (as a tract of land, a coast, or a harbor) by taking linear and angular measurements and by applying the principles of geometry and trigonometry


a. : to view from or as if from a high place or a commanding position : take an inclusive or overall view of : consider or study comprehensively : examine to the whole extent

silently surveyed the beautiful panorama below them — L.C.Douglas

survey almost the whole mass of contemporary literature — S.E.Hyman

b. : make, write, or present a survey of : outline or describe in or as if in an overall inclusive generalized study

a series of lectures which survey the entire field of cardiology — Bulletin of Meharry Medical College

c. obsolete : observe , perceive , see

4. : to view with a scrutinizing eye : examine carefully and closely the salient features or details of : look carefully into or through : inspect closely, searchingly, or in detail : scrutinize

she … surveyed herself in the pier glass — James Joyce

he surveyed us in a lordly way — Alan Harrington

5. : to grade and measure (lumber)

intransitive verb

: to make a survey

Synonyms: see see

II. ˈsərˌvā, ˈsə̄ˌ-, ˈsəiˌ- sometimes sə(r)ˈvā or ˌsərˈ- or sə̄ˈ- or səiˈ- noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive



(1) : a critical examination or inspection often of an official character for an implied or specified purpose : the action of ascertaining facts regarding conditions or the condition of something to provide exact information especially to persons responsible or interested

survey of a state's roads

a survey of the schools in the area

unemployment surveys

(2) : an examination of a ship or a part of its cargo or equipment to determine its condition, responsibility for damage, and disposition to be made

(3) : a study of a specified area or aggregate of units (as human beings) usually with respect to a special condition or its prevalence or with the objective of drawing conclusions about a larger area or aggregate : a systematic collection and analysis of data and especially statistical data on some aspect of an area or group

a telephone survey of major United States companies … in the atom business — Ray Cromley

made a survey … of farm production in the Midwest — Current Biography

b. : a report, study, or document presenting the results of such an examination


a. : the action of looking at something from a high or commanding position : a general or comprehensive view

resumed her survey of the landscape — Anne D. Sedgwick

b. : a broad undetailed consideration or treatment of something : a history, exposition, or description presenting the outlines only

competent surveys of the literatures of India, China, and Japan — Times Literary Supplement

continue his illustrated survey of the music of southern Africa — London Calling

— see survey course


a. : the process of surveying an area of land or water : the operation of finding and delineating the contour, dimensions, and position of any part of the earth's surface whether land or water

a topographic and hydrographic survey of a locality — C.H.Deetz

b. : a measured plan and description of a portion of an area or of a road or line through an area obtained by surveying

c. : an organization (as a government agency) engaged in surveying

4. : something that is surveyed:

a. archaic : a delineation of a scene : view

b. : prospect

Synonyms: see compendium

III. noun

: poll 9a

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.