sur·​veil | \ sər-ˈvāl How to pronounce surveil (audio) \
surveilled; surveilling

Definition of surveil

Examples of surveil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Henry has no choice but to go on the run, bringing the young agent who was assigned to surveil him, Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), along because, well, there has to a potential love interest in a movie like this, so why not? Lindsey Bahr, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: The tech is advanced, but ‘Gemini Man’ is lifeless," 8 Oct. 2019 Going to great lengths Digging further into DarkUniverse, the researchers found that the group went to great lengths to infect and surveil its targets. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Tipped off by an NSA breach, researchers discover new APT hacking group," 5 Nov. 2019 If Canadians returning from Syria couldn’t be prosecuted, Amarasingam said, the government could surveil them. Washington Post, "An alleged ISIS fighter wants to face justice in Canada. Canada doesn’t want him.," 23 Aug. 2019 The only people who would be easy to surveil would be people who didn't care about government surveillance in the first place. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Barr says the US needs encryption backdoors to prevent “going dark.” Um, what?," 4 Aug. 2019 Despite the efforts of mobile platform developers, many smart phone applications still transmit data that in aggregate can be intercepted, aggregated, and used to surveil their users unprotected by encryption. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Barr says the US needs encryption backdoors to prevent “going dark.” Um, what?," 4 Aug. 2019 After installing video cameras to surveil a residence on 25th Street, where the dispensary owner rented a room, the three men are suspected of entering the home wearing black ski masks as the housemates slept, Brown said. Daily Pilot, "Trial begins for man accused of kidnapping and torturing Newport Beach dispensary owner," 18 July 2019 Experts worry about how those and other nations use cyberattacks to spy on business, hack into voting systems, and surveil citizens. Alex Ward, Vox, "Microsoft says it notified nearly 10,000 customers that they were cyberattack victims," 17 July 2019 Right now, the federal government just uses small drones to surveil fires and aid firefighters on the ground, like BLM did in Oregon — not to actually extinguish them. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: The next wildfire season starts soon. The government wants to use drones to fight it.," 5 Mar. 2018

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

1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for surveil

back-formation from surveillance

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Time Traveler for surveil

Time Traveler

The first known use of surveil was in 1884

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Statistics for surveil

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Surveil.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on surveil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surveil

Nglish: Translation of surveil for Spanish Speakers

Comments on surveil

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very cautious or careful

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