over·see | \ˌō-vər-ˈsē \
oversaw\ˌō-vər-ˈsȯ \; overseen\ˌō-vər-ˈsēn \; 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

Trump revoked a policy that required Interior, which oversees BLM, to consider how its actions could contribute to climate change. Zack Colman, Scientific American, "A Trump Oil Boom Could Transform This Rocky Mountain Landscape," 13 July 2018 The 10-bed home, located at a confidential site to shield its residents, has no vacancies now, less than six months after opening, said Tracy Salem, manager of the county’s youth and family services division, which oversees the program. Stephen Hudak, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orange County's crisis shelter for human-trafficking victims is full — and that may be a good thing," 12 July 2018 Bowser sued Western State Hospital and the state Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees the facility, claiming abuse and neglect. Fox News, "Washington hospital is 'like going into hell'," 6 July 2018 Basham heads the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services which oversees code compliance and rental property licensing. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin considers rental license fee increase for landlords," 3 July 2018 But today, that’ll begin to change: the Wi-Fi Alliance, which oversees adoption of the Wi-Fi standard, is beginning to certify products that support WPA3, the successor to the WPA2 security protocol that’s been in use since 2004. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Wi-Fi security is starting to get its biggest upgrade in over a decade," 26 June 2018 But the crime lab does not store materials in cold cases, according to Johnny Koremenos, spokesman for the state Department of Justice, which oversees the lab. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A killer left DNA evidence behind. But Milwaukee police destroyed it.," 22 June 2018 The law that established the Department of Homeland Security, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, also addressed the fate of unaccompanied minors by establishing the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which oversees the care of unaccompanied kids. Maya Rhodan, Time, "Here Are the Facts About President Trump's Family Separation Policy," 19 June 2018 The camp is overseen by Rachel Harbin, coordinator of the county’s Office of Disability Services. The Aegis, "Harford concludes another successful iCan Bike Camp," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for oversee

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for oversee

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

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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 \
oversaw\-ˈsȯ \; overseen\-ˈsēn \; overseeing

Kids Definition of oversee

: to be in charge of : supervise

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Comments on oversee

What made you want to look up oversee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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