WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
sur•vey /v. sɚˈveɪ; n. ˈsɜrveɪ/USA pronunciation   v., n., pl.  -veys. 
v. [+ object]
  1. to consider or study in a general way:to survey a situation from all aspects.
  2. to view in detail, esp. in order to know the condition or value of something:The inspector surveyed the building.
  3. to conduct a study of the opinions or thoughts of (a group of people):to survey TV viewers.
  4. Surveyingto determine the exact dimensions and position of (an area of land) by a series of measurements:to survey the land for the public park.

n. [countable]
  1. a general view, description, course of study, etc.:a survey of Italian painting.
  2. a detailed formal or official examination or inspection, as to figure out condition, character, etc.
  3. Surveying
    • the act of surveying an area of land.
    • a plan or description resulting from this.
  4. a sampling of facts, figures, or opinions used to indicate what a complete analysis might reveal:Their survey of smokers suggests that many would like to quit.
sur•vey•or, n. [countable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
sur•vey  (v. sər vā;n. sûrvā, sər vā),USA pronunciation v., n., pl.  -veys. 
v.t. 
  1. to take a general or comprehensive view of or appraise, as a situation, area of study, etc.
  2. to view in detail, esp. to inspect, examine, or appraise formally or officially in order to ascertain condition, value, etc.
  3. to conduct a survey of or among:to survey TV viewers.
  4. Surveyingto determine the exact form, boundaries, position, extent, etc., of (a tract of land, section of a country, etc.) by linear and angular measurements and the application of the principles of geometry and trigonometry.

v.i. 
  1. Surveyingto survey land;
    practice surveying.

n. 
  1. an act or instance of surveying or of taking a comprehensive view of something:The course is a survey of Italian painting.
  2. a formal or official examination of the particulars of something, made in order to ascertain condition, character, etc.
  3. a statement or description embodying the result of this:They presented their survey to the board of directors.
  4. a sampling, or partial collection, of facts, figures, or opinions taken and used to approximate or indicate what a complete collection and analysis might reveal:The survey showed the percentage of the population that planned to vote.
  5. Surveyingthe act of determining the exact form, boundaries, position, etc., as of a tract of land or section of a country, by linear measurements, angular measurements, etc.
  6. Surveyingthe plan or description resulting from such an operation.
  7. Surveyingan agency for making determinations:U.S. Geological Survey.
sur•veya•ble, adj. 
  • Latin vidēre to see
  • Anglo-French surveier, Middle French surv(e)ier, surveoir to oversee, equivalent. to sur- sur-1 + v(e)ier
  • late Middle English surveien (verb, verbal) 1425–75

survey., 
  • Surveyingsurveying.


  • Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    survey vb /sɜːˈveɪ; ˈsɜːveɪ/
    1. (transitive) to view or consider in a comprehensive or general way
    2. (transitive) to examine carefully, as or as if to appraise value
    3. to plot a detailed map of (an area of land) by measuring or calculating distances and height
    4. Brit to inspect a building to determine its condition and value
    5. to examine a vessel thoroughly in order to determine its seaworthiness
    6. (transitive) to run a statistical survey on (incomes, opinions, etc)
    n /ˈsɜːveɪ/
    1. a comprehensive or general view
    2. a critical, detailed, and formal inspection
    3. Brit an inspection of a building to determine its condition and value
    4. a report incorporating the results of such an inspection
    5. a body of surveyors
    6. an area surveyed
    Etymology: 15th Century: from French surveoir, from sur-1 + veoir to see, from Latin vidēre



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