surveillance

noun
sur·​veil·​lance | \ sər-ˈvā-lən(t)s also -ˈvāl-yən(t)s or -ˈvā-ən(t)s How to pronounce surveillance (audio) \

Definition of surveillance

: close watch kept over someone or something (as by a detective) also : supervision

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Examples of surveillance in a Sentence

government surveillance of suspected terrorists The bank robbery was recorded by surveillance video cameras.

Recent Examples on the Web

Americans are getting closer to learning how the surveillance tools of the U.S. government were turned against the party out of power during the 2016 presidential campaign. James Freeman, WSJ, "When Did the Spying Begin?," 17 May 2019 The service must also grapple with the fact that, nearly 80 years later, war at sea is more deadly than ever before, with long range drones equipped with missiles, satellite surveillance, and supersonic anti-ship missiles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Robotic Ship Could Become a Marine's Lifeline," 9 May 2019 The study, which published this past November in the journal Circulation, analyzed data from hospital surveillance of heart attacks in people between the ages of 35 and 74 in four communities in Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, and North Carolina. Korin Miller, SELF, "Why Are Heart Attacks Becoming More Common in Women Under Age 54?," 13 Feb. 2019 And at this point, VR and AR are two of the last major technologies that haven’t faced a huge scandal involving genocide, mass surveillance, election tampering, or the wholesale dissolution of truth. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: AR and VR," 30 Dec. 2018 The same name also appears in an email published by WikiLeaks from the 2015 breach of surveillance company Hacking Team of Saudi officials being trained to use their software. Suzan Fraser, Fox News, "Man linked to Saudi prince at consulate when writer vanished," 18 Oct. 2018 In a story published on Thursday, April 11, the Sun-Times included surveillance video that shows much of the interaction and appears to contradict what officers originally said had happened. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Chicago Police Are Facing a Lawsuit After Video Showed Officers Beating 16-Year-Old Dnigma Howard," 12 Apr. 2019 It was revealed earlier this year that Horowitz’s office was investigating allegations of government surveillance abuse tied to the start of the Russia probe. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Peter Strzok grilled for hours on Capitol Hill over any involvement in start of Russia probe," 2 Oct. 2018 The inspector general, Michael Horowitz, is already investigating other matters related to the Russia investigation, including allegations of surveillance abuse and decisions made by top officials during the 2016 campaign. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "Trump Backs Off Public Release of Documents in Russia Probe," 21 Sep. 2018

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

1802, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for surveillance

French, from surveiller to watch over, from sur- + veiller to watch, from Old French veillier, from Latin vigilare, from vigil watchful — more at vigil

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Dictionary Entries near surveillance

Suruga Bay

surv

surveil

surveillance

surveillant

survey

surveyable

Statistics for surveillance

Last Updated

22 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surveillance

The first known use of surveillance was in 1802

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More Definitions for surveillance

surveillance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of surveillance

: the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime

surveillance

noun
sur·​veil·​lance | \ sər-ˈvā-lən(t)s also -ˈvāl-yən(t)s or -ˈvā-ən(t)s\

Medical Definition of surveillance

: close and continuous observation or testing serological surveillance — see immunological surveillance

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Comments on surveillance

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