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 If the dog must go potty, and is brave enough to venture outdoors, put him on a leash and closely supervise him, as unexpected noises may take him by surprise and his instinct may be to run for it! Traci Howerton,, "When it's time to countdown to 2021, count the pets out of the celebration," 22 Dec. 2020 The department didn’t take Lena’s kids that morning – not yet – but opened a case to supervise her. Suzanne Hirt, USA Today, "Her husband beat her. Caseworkers ‘pushed her to the edge.’," 17 Dec. 2020 The ceremony took place last week in 186th District Court, with the two judges who supervise it in virtual attendance. Elizabeth Zavala,, "Despite pandemic, San Antonio veterans treatment court graduates largest ever class," 14 Dec. 2020 Mortgage servicers handle billing and collection on behalf of investors who own the loans and supervise foreclosures if borrowers don’t pay. David Yaffe-bellany,, "Nationstar to Pay $110 Million to Settle Borrower Claims," 7 Dec. 2020 An adult should supervise any time candles are being used., "Community news for the Enfield edition," 18 Dec. 2020 According to the lawsuit, no one from the museum or El Pueblo management was there to supervise the removal of the bags. Los Angeles Times, "Artist sues museum and city of L.A. after his work is accidentally thrown away," 7 Dec. 2020 Thomas, on the other hand, was present at TCF to supervise the count. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit judge denies request to stop election certification in Wayne County," 13 Nov. 2020 One or two of us are on the stage to supervise the production, but the writing and support staff is not on the lot. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Sitcom king Chuck Lorre stays 'Positive' with four CBS shows, offering 'respite' from real-life storylines," 4 Nov. 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

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Supervise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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