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[soo-per-vahyz] /ˈsu pərˌvaɪz/
verb (used with object), supervised, supervising.
to oversee (a process, work, workers, etc.) during execution or performance; superintend; have the oversight and direction of.
Origin of supervise
1580-90; < Medieval Latin supervīsus (past participle of supervidēre to oversee), equivalent to super- super- + vid-, stem of vidēre to see + -tus past participle suffix, with dt > s; see vision, wit2
Related forms
nonsupervising, adjective
presupervise, verb (used with object), presupervised, presupervising.
quasi-supervised, adjective
unsupervised, adjective
well-supervised, adjective
manage, direct, control, guide. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for supervise
  • Being on campus is essential for people in natural sciences as they have lab experiments to run and/or to supervise.
  • Now many companies are seeking to insure that their middle managers and the workers those managers supervise are also motivated.
  • supervise the research of master's and doctoral students.
  • There are plans for some to remain, to supervise engineering work and prepare for future training.
  • Fifteen technicians supervise the running of the cars and worked with the drivers to hone their performance.
  • Pandit's closest advisers and the bank's operations chief, will now supervise the group.
  • Develop, implement and supervise the human performance lab.
  • The president wants to set up a caretaker government, tilted in his favour, to supervise the coming election.
  • At each location, a couple is contracted by the chain to supervise the premises.
  • supervise work-study and volunteer employees in the costume shop.
British Dictionary definitions for supervise


verb (transitive)
to direct or oversee the performance or operation of
to watch over so as to maintain order, etc
Derived Forms
supervision (ˌsuːpəˈvɪʒən) noun
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin supervidēre, from Latin super- + vidēre to see
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 supervise

1580s, "to look over," from Medieval Latin supervisus, past participle of supervidere "oversee, inspect," from Latin super "over" (see super-) + videre "see" (see vision). Meaning "to oversee and superintend the work or performance of others" is attested from 1640s. Related: Supervised; supervising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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