Definition of overseer in English:



  • A person who supervises others, especially workers.

    • ‘Accounts of plantation life confirm that women gave their labor unwillingly and were a constant source of frustration to managers and overseers.’
    • ‘But in South Africa, many judges are loath to be government overseers.’
    • ‘If their owners fled the islands, they fell under the supervision of an overseer often more interested in a good crop than the welfare of his charges.’
    • ‘Overall, the railroad industry and its federal overseer have long been closely intertwined.’
    • ‘Sure he is the overseer of local governance, but he should set it up to run smoothly, and then keep his finger out of it.’
    • ‘He envisions a system of discipline imposed by independent overseers, inside and outside the corporation, with the power to say no and make it stick.’
    • ‘These royal slaves, who lived for more than a century in a community without overseers, masters or managers, form the subject of this important book.’
    • ‘It is the epicenter of the post-World War II international regime and the overseer of international peace and security.’
    • ‘The duty of the board of overseers is to supervise the major institutions in major markets in the industrial world.’
    • ‘I walked up to the building site, where I was met by one of the overseers of the workers.’
    • ‘But government overseers do not have that level of understanding.’
    • ‘A few weeks later he advertised for twelve dogs and a working overseer to take charge of the rabbit catchers.’
    • ‘We also thank our area engineer, overseer workers, and FAS overseers for their help and support.’
    • ‘In some instances, with the agreement of trustees, an overseer might be employed by more than one local trust.’
    • ‘The trio has close ties to the National Security Agency, the overseer of U.S. naval communications files.’
    • ‘Southern masters and overseers used timepieces to ensure that tasks were completed in a timely fashion and that slaves were not malingering.’
    • ‘The reliance on nature or fate to move a story forward - the residents of the village need the rain in order to produce crops and pay taxes to their British overseers.’
    • ‘But a week later The Harvard Crimson called for her to resign as a Harvard overseer.’
    • ‘Pharoah is so impressed with the young man that he makes him the second most powerful man in Egypt, the overseer of food supplies.’
    • ‘It is another training opportunity for staff to work together, practice skills, and think of themselves as risk managers or overseers of camper safety.’
    supervisor, foreman, forewoman, chargehand, team leader, controller, manager, manageress, line manager
    boss, head, head of department, superintendent, captain
    chief, head honcho, governor, super
    gaffer, guv'nor
    straw boss
    pannikin boss
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (also denoting a person appointed by a testator to assist the executor of a will): from oversee.