surveillance

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

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

The surveillance program also emphasizes local community engagement and aims to support a sustainable health infrastructure informed by their discoveries. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "A Never-Before-Seen Virus Has Been Detected in Myanmar’s Bats," 11 July 2018 Despite his consistently conservative pedigree, Kavanaugh's nomination could also run afoul of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, which has opposed government surveillance programs. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court Could Spell Trouble for Tech," 10 July 2018 The Intercept’s startling new report on the location of eight AT&T facilities, located in major U.S. cities, that are part of a controversial National Security Agency internet surveillance program is well worth the (very) long read. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Pa. death penalty report released, Philly archdiocese settles sex abuse claim | Morning Newsletter," 26 June 2018 That includes recent reporting on a mass surveillance program run by close U.S. ally Japan and on how the NSA targeted bitcoin users to gather intelligence to combat narcotics and money laundering. Deb Riechmann, The Seattle Times, "Costs of Snowden leak still mounting 5 years later," 3 June 2018 The establishment of these two organizations would rearrange the military’s current bureaucracy for handling national security space missions, which mostly revolve around launching satellites for surveillance, communications, and navigation. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Space Command is coming back, but Space Force still needs approval from Congress," 18 Dec. 2018 Adoption of facial recognition is proceeding quickly—especially in China, where the government uses it extensively for surveillance—stirring concerns about potential misuse. Douglas Macmillan, WSJ, "Microsoft Pushes Urgency of Regulating Facial-Recognition Technology," 6 Dec. 2018 The country has built sophisticated infrastructure for online surveillance and censorship. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Google employees demand that Google stop work on censored Chinese search," 27 Nov. 2018 Instead, they're used for surveillance, communications, administrative support, intelligence, analysis and the installation of border security infrastructure. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Trump would not be first president to send National Guard soldiers to US-Mexico border," 2 Oct. 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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Suruga Bay

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surveillance

surveillant

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Statistics for surveillance

Last Updated

16 Jan 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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