sur·​vey·​ing | \ sər-ˈvā-iŋ How to pronounce surveying (audio) , ˈsər-ˌvā- \

Definition of surveying

: a branch of applied mathematics that is concerned with determining the area of any portion of the earth's surface, the lengths and directions of the bounding lines, and the contour of the surface and with accurately delineating the whole on paper

Examples of surveying in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On the Beagle’s return in 1830, it was remodeled again for a second surveying expedition in which Darwin would participate (1831-36); the route would take the Beagle to South America and then make a circumnavigation of the globe. National Geographic, "Darwin's first—and only—trip around the world began a scientific revolution," 11 June 2020 If the city receives the grant, consultant services would be sought, including surveying, inspection work, flow monitoring, hydraulic modeling, design and required permit fees to the Environmental Protection Agency. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Shaker undertakes work on city’s largest sanitary sewer overflow, flooding at Lynnfield-Lomond," 9 June 2020 Moreover, this isn’t the only example of toilet paper-aided surveying in Alaska history. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "A brief history of toilet paper in Anchorage," 16 Mar. 2020 Many LockBit competitors like Ryuk rely on live human hackers who, once gaining unauthorized access, spend large amounts of time surveying and surveilling a target’s network and then unleash the code that will encrypt it. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "LockBit, the new ransomware for hire: A sad and cautionary tale," 30 Apr. 2020 The government has adopted a fit-for-purpose surveying method to improve efficiency, in which landowners are equipped with a GIS smartphone app and an external GPS device. Ritoban Mukherjee, Quartz, "Colombia is using an app to return land to people displaced by war," 26 Mar. 2020 The city of Clarkston began last month the DeBelle Street Stormwater repair project with the surveying of the adjacent properties and the right-of-way. John Thompson, ajc, "TAKE TO TASK," 7 Mar. 2020 But advisers said he was struck by the political surveying that indicated that the public wanted the restrictions to continue long enough to beat back the virus for fear that letting up too soon would simply reinvigorate the outbreak. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Behind Trump’s Reversal on Reopening the Country: 2 Sets of Numbers," 30 Mar. 2020 Recent surveying and Election Day polling give a glimpse into what voters are thinking as the campaign rolls along. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Does crisis change voting habits? Coronavirus could push voters to candidates they view as trustworthy," 19 Mar. 2020

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

1682, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about surveying

Time Traveler for surveying

Time Traveler

The first known use of surveying was in 1682

See more words from the same year

Statistics for surveying

Last Updated

27 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Surveying.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for surveying


sur·​vey·​ing | \ sər-ˈvā-iŋ \

Kids Definition of surveying

1 : the act or occupation of a person who determines the size, shape, or boundaries of a piece of land
2 : a branch of mathematics that teaches how to measure the earth's surface and record these measurements accurately

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on surveying

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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