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

Definition of surveil

transitive verb

: to subject to surveillance

Examples of surveil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As Calnan and his team began to surveil the street corner, a few miles from Yankee Stadium, and identify suspects and tap phones, one name kept coming up: Sonny. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, 6 Sep. 2021 All the while, companies and government organizations keep teaming up to surveil American communities with poor or nonexistent oversight. Justin Sherman, Wired, 20 July 2021 President Joe Biden responded by publicly avowing that his administration wouldn’t try to surveil journalists in the future. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 11 June 2021 The report found those governments used the spyware to surveil many individuals, including the family of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Billy Perrigo, Time, 20 July 2021 Starting around the middle of last year, Farahani and his network used private investigators to surveil Alinejad’s home in Brooklyn and other members of her household, the indictment said. Washington Post, 14 July 2021 Nothing is gained by instituting this massive invasion of privacy, other than to normalize the idea that the government has the right to surveil massive numbers of mostly Black and brown immigrant families seeking asylum. Kica Matos, CNN, 18 June 2021 Relatively simple flyby probes might intermittently surveil nascent solar systems, for example, at 200-million-year intervals. John Gertz, Scientific American, 21 June 2021 Starting the day Zhang reported his wife and stepdaughter missing in December 2019, until mid-January 2020 — 44 days in all — dozens of detectives worked in shifts to surveil him around the clock. Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2021

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

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surveil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surveil

Nglish: Translation of surveil for Spanish Speakers


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