over·​see | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsē How to pronounce oversee (audio) \
oversaw\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈsȯ How to pronounce oversaw (audio) \; overseen\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈsēn How to pronounce overseen (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 At one point, government lawyers told the federal judge overseeing the Bulldog’s lawsuit that the agency had no record of the Sarasota investigation. Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Twin Cities, "Other voices: FBI should stop hiding what happened in Sarasota before 9/11," 11 Sep. 2019 The entire collection is said to be worth up to $400,000, according to Marilyn White, a spokeswoman for Lark Mason Associates, who have been hired by Bourdain's family to oversee the auction. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Anthony Bourdain's possessions will be auctioned off to raise money for his family," 16 Sep. 2019 In 2018, Boone returned to Los Angeles to oversee counterintelligence operations, including the case of a computer programmer allegedly working for the North Korean government. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "She’s traveled the world on some of the FBI’s biggest cases. Now she’s running its Baltimore field office," 16 Sep. 2019 City Manager Greg Nyhoff selected Shawny Williams, a deputy chief for the San Jose Police Department, to oversee the department, according to a news release. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Vallejo selects Shawny Williams as new police chief," 13 Sep. 2019 That candidates from one of the two major parties were not given time to debate the merits of their plans to oversee higher education is an oversight in itself. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Missing Education Questions in the Democratic Debate," 13 Sep. 2019 Congress in 2017 approved lease sales in the tax-reform bill, and directed BLM to oversee it. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration puts entire Arctic refuge coastal plain on table for oil and gas leasing," 12 Sep. 2019 Since there are 15 different Brady spaces to recreate in 9,000 work hours over six months, the limited TV series assigned two leaders to oversee the ambitious project: Design expert-slash-build-manager Dylan Eastman and contractor Dave Clark. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "A Very Brady Renovation," 10 Sep. 2019 Austin’s role on the show will be to oversee the Universal championship contract signing between Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin Reflects on Raw’s Return to MSG After 10 Years Away," 9 Sep. 2019

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

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for oversee

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

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More Definitions for oversee


How to pronounce oversee (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on oversee

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oversee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oversee

Spanish Central: Translation of oversee

Nglish: Translation of oversee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oversee for Arabic Speakers

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