survey

verb
sur·​vey | \ sər-ˈvā How to pronounce survey (audio) , ˈsər-ˌvā\
surveyed; surveying

Definition of survey

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to examine as to condition, situation, or value : appraise
b : to query (someone) in order to collect data for the analysis of some aspect of a group or area
2 : to determine and delineate the form, extent, and position of (such as a tract of land) by taking linear and angular measurements and by applying the principles of geometry and trigonometry
3 : to view or consider comprehensively
4 : inspect, scrutinize he surveyed us in a lordly way— Alan Harrington

intransitive verb

: to make a survey

survey

noun
sur·​vey | \ ˈsər-ˌvā How to pronounce survey (audio) , sər-ˈvā\
plural surveys

Definition of survey (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of surveying: such as
a : a broad treatment of a subject
2 : something that is surveyed

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of survey in a Sentence

Verb A total of 250 city residents were surveyed about the project. 64 percent of the people surveyed said that the economy was doing well. The teacher surveyed the room. People were surveying the damage after the storm. Engineers surveyed the property to see what could be built on it. Noun The survey found some surprising tendencies among the population. We conducted an opinion survey on the issue and found that most people agree. a survey on American drinking habits Surveys of each department were conducted earlier this year. A survey of recent corporate layoffs reveals a new trend in business management. A new land survey changed the borders of their property.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Future business is leaving too: 30 percent of CEOs surveyed by the U.S.–China Business Council have delayed or cancelled investments in China due to trade pressure. Nicholas Phillips, National Review, "The Trade War Is Smart Geopolitics," 5 Sep. 2019 Only about 66% of 3- to 5-year-olds receive some form of early-childhood schooling, the sixth-lowest figure out of 37 countries surveyed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Bloomberg Opinion, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Fund Pre-K for those who need it most," 5 Sep. 2019 The views of professional forecasters surveyed by the ECB have fallen to their bleakest since polling began in 1999. The Economist, "Mario Draghi and the ECB confront a slowing euro zone," 5 Sep. 2019 More than half of the public comments from companies surveyed by ISM pointed to economic uncertainty as a drag on their businesses. CBS News, "Stock markets drop on news that U.S. manufacturing is shrinking," 3 Sep. 2019 Georgia now ranks 45th in the world for English proficiency out of 88 countries surveyed by Education First, above Chile and China and below Russia. Natasha Frost, Quartzy, "What’s behind a stratospheric tourism boom in the tiny European nation of Georgia," 31 Aug. 2019 Half of corporate chief financial officers surveyed by Duke University expect the economy to shrink by the second quarter of 2020. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Trump Previews His Response to the Next Recession," 27 Aug. 2019 But many of the conifers surveyed by Shaw and his colleagues don’t have insect or disease damage, reinforcing the diagnosis of drought damage. oregonlive.com, "Western Oregon conifers continue to show damage from drought," 20 Aug. 2019 Consumer and small-business optimism have fallen, and two in five economists surveyed by the National Association of Business Economists now expect the economy to slip into a recession this year or next. New York Times, "Trump Says He’s Exploring ‘Various Tax Reductions,’ and the Economic Data He Loves Shows Why," 20 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The survey shows current start times and the three proposals. Leslie Postal, orlandosentinel.com, "Orange County high school start times: District offers 3 options for later bells," 16 Sep. 2019 My accidental survey of datable men began during a trip to Germany earlier this year. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Affairs: He insisted on paying for our date. Then I got his Venmo request," 14 Sep. 2019 ABC News and The Washington Post released results of their survey Tuesday, noting that Trump's prior rating was a record high for his time in office. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump slams 'fixed' poll showing his latest job approval rating is at 38%," 10 Sep. 2019 His survey at the end of the 19th century has formed the basis of all studies since. National Geographic, "The 'Lion Fortress' of Sri Lanka was swallowed by the jungle," 3 Sep. 2019 Our survey also revealed that hunting and foraging was generally replaced by pastoralism (raising animals such as cows and sheep for food and other resources) and agriculture in most places, though there were exceptions. Ben Marwick, The Conversation, "Surveying archaeologists across the globe reveals deeper and more widespread roots of the human age, the Anthropocene," 29 Aug. 2019 USA Today released its preseason Heisman Trophy survey, and Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert was named on two ballots. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Our plan for Saturday nights, season previews roll, Scott talks DTV, early kickoffs shelved and more," 23 Aug. 2019 Her survey surfed waves of patriotic indignation crashing over the Chinese internet, heightened by puffs of windy outrage in the state media. The Economist, "China’s thin-skinned online nationalists want to be both loved and feared by the West," 22 Aug. 2019 Yet some colleges and majors offer better returns than others, PayScale found in its annual survey of salaries for college grads. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Graduates of these U.S. colleges earn the most," 20 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'survey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of survey

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for survey

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French surveer, to look over, from sur- + veer to see — more at view

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about survey

Statistics for survey

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for survey

The first known use of survey was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for survey

survey

verb
How to pronounce survey (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of survey

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to ask (many people) a question or a series of questions in order to gather information about what most people do or think about something
: to look at and examine all parts of (something)
: to measure and examine (an area of land)

survey

noun
How to pronounce survey (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of survey (Entry 2 of 2)

: an activity in which many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to gather information about what most people do or think about something
: an act of studying something in order to make a judgment about it
: an act of measuring and examining an area of land

survey

verb
sur·​vey | \ sər-ˈvā How to pronounce survey (audio) \
surveyed; surveying

Kids Definition of survey

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to look over : examine The governor surveyed damage caused by the flood.
2 : to find out the size, shape, or boundaries of (as a piece of land)
3 : to gather information from : ask questions of We surveyed students to find out who was the most popular teacher.

survey

noun
sur·​vey | \ ˈsər-ˌvā How to pronounce survey (audio) \
plural surveys

Kids Definition of survey (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action or an instance of gathering information or examining something
2 : something that is examined
3 : a history or description that covers a large subject briefly

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on survey

What made you want to look up survey? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!