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 Students are taught by city schoolteachers online, but other workers supervise their care, making sure they are connected to the internet and on the right lesson. Liz Bowie,, "‘We can do this': How an East Baltimore school is protecting students and staff from the coronavirus," 18 Nov. 2020 Right now, many professionals need work-from-home benefits for health reasons or to supervise their children’s remote learning. Alexandra Carter, NBC News, "5 benefits to negotiate for at work (when a raise is off the table)," 20 Oct. 2020 Prosecutors investigated whether Goldman failed to supervise its top banker on the deal, Timothy Leissner. Dave Michaels, WSJ, "Goldman Sachs to Pay $2.8 Billion, Admit Wrongdoing to Settle 1MDB Charges," 20 Oct. 2020 The school system has since informed its central office employees — who are not unionized — that they may be called to classrooms to supervise children, according to documents shared with The Washington Post. Washington Post, "Negotiations stall between D.C. teachers union and the city over school reopening plans.," 15 Oct. 2020 But employees, union leaders and labor experts say none of that government support has motivated companies to find ways to accommodate workers who also need to supervise their children during online school. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "As School Begins, Mothers Working Retail Jobs Feel Extra Burden," 21 Sep. 2020 Should workers voluntarily leave the workforce to supervise housebound children while schools remain closed, then our economy could face significant harm. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Will workers increasingly leave the work force if schools stay closed?," 28 Aug. 2020 Employees will supervise small groups of students during the school day as the youths are taught virtually, have meals and participate in in-person activities. David Anderson,, "Harford Learning Support Centers will open in stages as officials work to fill all staff positions," 25 Aug. 2020 The newcomers, who Shaun will supervise, include Dr. Olivia Jackson (Summer Brown), Dr. Asher Wolke (Noah Galvin), Dr. Enrique Guerin (Brian Marc), and Dr. Jordan Allen (Bria Samoné). Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "'The Good Doctor' Season 4 is Coming Soon, But a Fan-Favorite Character Won't Be Returning," 26 Oct. 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

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Supervise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 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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