over·​see | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsē How to pronounce oversee (audio) \
oversaw\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈsȯ How to pronounce oversee (audio) \; overseen\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈsēn How to pronounce oversee (audio) \; overseeing

Definition of oversee

transitive verb

1 : survey, watch From his hilltop home he can oversee the river below.
2a : inspect, examine oversees all new machinery
b : to watch over and direct (an undertaking, a group of workers, etc.) in order to ensure a satisfactory outcome or performance : supervise was hired to oversee the design and construction of the new library oversaw 20 employees

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Examples of oversee in a Sentence

He was hired to oversee design and construction of the new facility. will oversee the new manufacturing division
Recent Examples on the Web Hale also declined to appoint a trustee or examiner to oversee the NRA's finances. Sonia Moghe, CNN, "Judge dismisses NRA's bankruptcy petition, allowing New York AG lawsuit to move forward," 11 May 2021 The county, which also recently committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, created a new director position to oversee the plan's implementation. Katy Read, Star Tribune, "Improvements at Edina park showcase climate change protection," 5 May 2021 In January, the department was sued by New York’s attorney general, who has called for a monitor to oversee the police’s handling of protests. New York Times, "Why This N.Y.P.D. Detective Is Suing a Protester," 29 Apr. 2021 Upon taking office, Biden called for a threat assessment on domestic terrorism and appointed to the National Security Council a new counterterrorism official to oversee that study and federal work on the issue. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "White supremacy 'most lethal' threat to America, Biden says," 28 Apr. 2021 Harris, who is also the first female vice president; Yellen, who is the first woman to lead the Treasury Department; and Austin, who is the first Black person to oversee defense. Washington Post, "Biden’s small moments tell big stories," 26 Apr. 2021 The second year of the grant will help create a regional team to oversee the program. Tyler Carter, Dallas News, "DeSoto receives nearly $2 million from Dallas County to launch mental health crisis team," 22 Apr. 2021 Snyder is scheduled for sentencing July 1 before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly of the Northern District of Illinois, the third judge to oversee the case. Amy Lavalley, chicagotribune.com, "Former Portage Mayor James Snyder appeals 2nd bribery conviction; says most recent trial wasn’t fair," 20 Apr. 2021 Is there an appropriate governance structure in your organization to oversee the use of cryptography as part of an information security portfolio? Anudeep Parhar, Forbes, "Building A Strong Cryptography Strategy (Part I): Securing Your Data Assets," 20 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oversee.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oversee

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for oversee

Time Traveler

The first known use of oversee was before the 12th century

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Statistics for oversee

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oversee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oversee. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for oversee



English Language Learners Definition of oversee

: to watch and direct (an activity, a group of workers, etc.) in order to be sure that a job is done correctly


over·​see | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsē How to pronounce oversee (audio) \
oversaw\ -​ˈsȯ \; overseen\ -​ˈsēn \; overseeing

Kids Definition of oversee

: to be in charge of : supervise

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