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

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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 More than two million civil servants actually carry out those duties on his behalf, led by a cadre of political appointees chosen by the president to supervise and manage them according to his policy agenda. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Brings the Presidency Back From a Lawless Brink," 9 July 2020 Beijing will establish a national security office, staffed by mainland security services to supervise local authorities in policing the law, according to Xinhua. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "China is about to pass a controversial national security law in Hong Kong. Here's what you need to know," 25 June 2020 Under Zheng's leadership, the Office for Safeguarding National Security will be able to analyze intelligence, supervise local authorities' handling of security matters, and investigate major cases directly. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "China installs propaganda official to lead security agency in Hong Kong," 3 July 2020 Case aides supervise visits between children in state custody and their parents or caregivers. Mary Jo Pitzl, azcentral, "Sheriff: Former DCS aide confesses to fatally stabbing a girl he worked with in Arizona," 24 June 2020 The lawsuit claims the department failed to properly train, supervise and discipline Mercer, who fired the fatal shots, and others involved in the string of events that led to Reed’s death. Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, "Dreasjon Reed: New surveillance footage captures moments before fatal police shooting," 17 June 2020 Closely supervise your children near or around water. Ryan Prior, CNN, "Keep an eye on your toddlers splashing in the pool. Drowning is the leading accidental cause of death for kids 1 to 4," 8 June 2020 The number included sergeants and lieutenants who supervise other officers and investigate allegations of misconduct lodged against them. Justin Price, azcentral, "George Floyd protests intensify calls for police reform. Here are 4 things that would actually change the system," 8 June 2020 The case aides who supervise visits are instructed to stay at least six feet apart, which is something their visitation rooms can accommodate. Arizona Republic, "Department of Child Safety reports COVID-19 cases as in-person visits for kids in foster care resume," 4 June 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for supervise

Time Traveler

The first known use of supervise was circa 1645

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Statistics for supervise

Last Updated

24 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Supervise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for supervise


How to pronounce supervise (audio)

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?

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