su·​per·​vise | \ ˈsü-pər-ˌvīz How to pronounce supervise (audio) \
supervised; supervising

Definition of supervise

transitive verb

: to be in charge of : superintend, oversee supervise a large staff supervised the ship's daily operations

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of supervise in a Sentence

The builder supervised the construction of the house. She supervises a staff of 30 workers.

Recent Examples on the Web

During a standard supervised visit on February 5, 2012, social worker Elizabeth Griffin Hall called 9-1-1 after Josh locked his children inside the house. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Susan Cox Powell's Sister Reveals What She Believes Really Happened to Her," 4 May 2019 Brian Kemp, the ultimately successful GOP gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, was Georgia secretary of state during the campaign — a job that includes supervising the conduct of elections. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 Wealthier families can afford to have one parent stay home or can choose to pay for more childcare, which means more supervised playtime for kids. Laura Turner, Glamour, "The Big Problem With the New Screen Time Guidelines for Kids," 26 Apr. 2019 The soon-to-be musical will consist of a book written by Bekah Brunstetter (supervising producer on This Is Us) with music and lyrics by singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Nicholas Sparks's "The Notebook" Is Headed to Broadway," 6 Jan. 2019 With the Airbnb-friendly lease, subletting will be much better supervised. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Airbnb Is Fighting Paris's Strict Laws with Century 21 Partnership," 27 June 2018 In the context of alleged unreasonable force by police officers, a Monell Claim centers on the assertion that the city employing the officers failed to adequately train or supervise the officers. Michael Mccann,, "Inside Sterling Brown’s compelling lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department and City of Milwaukee," 19 June 2018 On Friday, a federal judge sentenced Moore to 14 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Michael Gordon, charlotteobserver, "An airline employee tried to bypass security. He got 14 months in prison instead. | Charlotte Observer," 20 Apr. 2018 After McCormack serves 10 years in prison, he also is required to complete three years of supervised release. Ashley Remkus,, "Former kindergarten teacher gets 10 years imprisonment for filming child in bathroom," 3 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of supervise

circa 1645, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for supervise

Medieval Latin supervisus, past participle of supervidēre, from Latin super- + vidēre to see — more at wit

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about supervise

Statistics for supervise

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for supervise

The first known use of supervise was circa 1645

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for supervise



English Language Learners Definition of supervise

: to be in charge of (someone or something) : to watch and direct (someone or something)


su·​per·​vise | \ ˈsü-pər-ˌvīz How to pronounce supervise (audio) \
supervised; supervising

Kids Definition of supervise

: to coordinate and direct the activities of Who will supervise the workers while you are away?

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on supervise

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!