over·​sight | \ ˈō-vər-ˌsīt \

Definition of oversight

1a : watchful and responsible care you to whom oversight of the University is entrusted— N. M. Pusey
b : regulatory supervision congressional oversight The new manager was given oversight of the project.
2 : an inadvertent omission or error whether by oversight or intention— G. B. Shaw The error was a simple oversight.

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Examples of oversight in a Sentence

The fact that you didn't get an invitation is surely just an oversight. The error was a simple oversight. The new manager was given oversight of the project.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While food companies may also self-check, the FDA provides an additional level of government regulation and oversight. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "The Government Shutdown Is Now Endangering the Food We Eat," 10 Jan. 2019 But a growing body of evidence shows that plastics are likely harming human health in a number of ways, and in the United States, there’s little government oversight to stop it. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "These Are the Ways Plastics Can Mess Up Your Body," 19 Dec. 2018 In response, Sidewalk Labs proposed a civic data trust that would create an independent oversight group and open standards for sharing information. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Sidewalk Labs’s updated smart city plan aims for ‘people-first public realm’," 30 Nov. 2018 Two others with oversight responsibilities were charged with aiding and abetting sedition: Anare Ravula, the editor of the weekly paper, and Fred Wesley, the Fiji Times editor-in-chief. Washington Post, "Preliminary ruling finds Fiji 4 not guilty of sedition," 18 May 2018 The criminal charges against the archdiocese eventually were dismissed, but the archdiocese reached a civil settlement with authorities that was designed to increase oversight and transparency. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Vatican urged to reveal status of ousted US archbishop," 18 Dec. 2018 Johnson and other council members were upset about being denied oversight of the plan — but that wasn’t on Amazon alone. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "New York City council members railed against Amazon in the hope of renegotiating the HQ2 deal," 12 Dec. 2018 These lapses in oversight and cost-cutting sometimes became deadly, as the 2017 Grenfell Fire showed. Diana Budds, Curbed, "3 ways architects can improve social equity," 8 Nov. 2018 Spokespeople from the oversight and intelligence committees declined comment. Catherine Herridge, Fox News, "Rosenstein launched 'hostile' attack in May against Republicans over Russia records: congressional email," 27 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oversight.' 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 oversight

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for oversight

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oversight

The first known use of oversight was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for oversight



English Language Learners Definition of oversight

: a mistake made because someone forgets or fails to notice something

: the act or job of directing work that is being done


over·​sight | \ ˈō-vər-ˌsīt \

Kids Definition of oversight

1 : the act or duty of overseeing : watchful care He was assigned oversight of the project.
2 : an error or something forgotten through carelessness or haste It was surely an oversight that you weren't invited.

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Comments on oversight

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


a complex dispute or argument

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