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[oh-ver-see] /ˌoʊ vərˈsi/
verb (used with object), oversaw, overseen, overseeing.
to direct (work or workers); supervise; manage:
He was hired to oversee the construction crews.
to see or observe secretly or unintentionally:
We happened to oversee the burglar leaving the premises. He was overseen stealing the letters.
to survey or watch, as from a higher position.
to look over; examine; inspect.
Origin of oversee
before 900; Middle English overseen, Old English ofersēon. See over-, see1
Can be confused
overlook, oversee, oversight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for oversee
  • oversee preparation and implementation of development communication strategies.
  • It also would establish a new agency to oversee consumer lending.
  • Hired, scheduled, and trained staff to oversee lab and provide support to users.
  • It is the religious authorities that oversee marriage, divorce and inheritance.
  • To fix a broken financial system and to oversee its proper functioning in the future you need experts.
  • The president stood down as head of the caretaker government that had been supposed to oversee the elections.
  • If you can't oversee the distance that you need to stop, you'll be in trouble, big time.
  • They now oversee cable and long-distance satellite service on campus as well as the whole spectrum of telecommunications.
  • None has been prosecuted, and this year the government set up a committee to oversee such cases.
  • He will continue to oversee the studio and the parks and resorts business.
British Dictionary definitions for oversee


verb (transitive) -sees, -seeing, -saw, -seen
to watch over and direct; supervise
to watch secretly or accidentally
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for oversee

Old English oferseon "to look down upon, keep watch over, survey, observe;" see over + see (v.). Meaning "to supervise" is attested from mid-15c. The verb lacks the double sense of similar overlook, but this emerges in the noun form oversight. Related: Oversaw; overseen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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