Definition of supervise in English:



  • 1 Observe and direct the execution of (a task or activity)

    ‘the sergeant left to supervise the loading of the lorries’
    • ‘Make sure they know how to handle art, and supervise the work so nothing gets damaged, he also suggested.’
    • ‘He spoke and wrote fluently in English, and either translated himself or supervised the translation of almost all the poems included in this book.’
    • ‘When the era of the affordable computer hit, we dumped most of these services in favor of do-it-yourself solutions because it was cheaper and easier to supervise work done in-house.’
    • ‘Although she did not perform the carving or printing herself, she wanted to have a basic understanding to supervise the process.’
    • ‘Though he complains of the mess he spends days happily supervising the work; ‘I cannot but be with the workmen to see things done to my mind.’’
    • ‘That might mean working as a consultant while a hiring freeze is on, filling in for a military reservist called to duty, or supervising a short-term project.’
    • ‘The authority will regulate and supervise the operations of non-banking financial institutions in the country.’
    • ‘A master craftsman would supervise a large-scale project, with a strictly ranked team working under him.’
    • ‘The rookies are being put through a gas-attack drill, in which they must calmly put on their protective masks, after one of the supervising officers has hurled a canister in through one of the Portakabin windows.’
    • ‘Its objective is to win hearts and minds not to supervise the activities that need to be carried out to make the changes effective.’
    • ‘He served as the overall director, supervising the army of over 200 artists entrusted with realising the film in the frighteningly brief period of eleven months.’
    • ‘He was later promoted to senior vice president supervising global growth and technology initiatives.’
    • ‘A local board of three to five fathers organizes the school, hires a teacher, approves curriculum, oversees the budget, and supervises maintenance.’
    • ‘Our artists are directly involved in supervising the printing process.’
    • ‘He said even the special purpose vehicle which is responsible for the project implementation had already been put in place to oversee and supervise the actual project.’
    • ‘But the biometric check is only useful if the process is sufficiently supervised to guard against spoofing or passport switching.’
    • ‘Two weeks ago, the Department of Defence, which is supervising the selection process, announced that it had eliminated two companies from the shortlist.’
    • ‘If it's that important, then I say go there and supervise the work yourself.’
    • ‘His autobiographies, which list hundreds of monuments as his own works, embody a collaborative notion of authorship with only the most significant imperial projects fully supervised by him.’
    • ‘For instance, one rule states that a person who is educated overseas cannot operate or supervise a pharmacy that is less than three years old.’
    superintend, oversee, be in charge of, be in control of, preside over, direct, administer, manage, run, look after, be responsible for, govern, operate, conduct, organize, handle, guide, steer, pilot
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Observe and direct the work of (someone)
      ‘nurses were supervised by a consultant psychiatrist’
      • ‘He supervised a staff of 100 to build a single system to research and process the insurance that guarantees to lenders that your property is free of liens and claims.’
      • ‘He decides to censor it and to supervise the author, watching out for further subversiveness lest it become necessary to deport him to an island.’
      • ‘But more often the causes were informational: it was too costly to monitor quality on the output side, and firms needed to observe and supervise workers in the plant itself.’
      • ‘‘Here, we supervise students and carry out research on the ecology, genetics and conservation of freshwater and marine molluscs in the rivers of the Amazon basin,’ he explains.’
      • ‘Between 1513 and 1529 he was occupied as architect and sculptor on the shrine of the Holy House in Loreto, contributing marble narrative reliefs and supervising a team of younger sculptors.’
      • ‘Of necessity they have been learning on the job, developing ad hoc methods of reading when little or no guidelines were supplied in the discipline's infancy, and extrapolating from what they have gleaned supervising their own students.’
      • ‘Nenni, who supervises us, has ordered us to pick fresh strawberries.’
      • ‘He points out some obvious arguments, it's the parents fault for not supervising their kids, his anecdotes are fictional, they are only words after all.’
      • ‘The other objective was to help auditors understand the art of imparting skills needed to supervise and oversee not just internal audit, but also to supervise audit teams and departments.’
      • ‘Each candidate is supervised by a mentor as well as by a program leader in each division to facilitate a smooth assimilation into the company's culture.’
      • ‘A few years ago I was supervising a Masters student who was writing an autobiographical novel.’
      • ‘The accountancy bodies will continue to supervise their members and firms.’
      • ‘Extra personnel are taken on each year to supervise students with physical disabilities, hearing difficulties, visual impairments and dyslexia.’
      • ‘The shift to an increasingly mobile workforce means that many managers supervise employees they rarely see face-to-face.’
      • ‘As I supervise new students, explain myself to colleagues, examine more degrees for outside institutions, defend our discipline and plan strategies to advance it, I can see one thing clearly.’
      • ‘He supervises a staff of research analysts and portfolio managers for the Durham, North Carolina, firm.’
      • ‘Will the company then be held liable for improperly supervising its employee on the property in question?’
      • ‘At daybreak he was [already] managing accounts and at the same time supervising the workers.’
      • ‘He supervises the kids as they dig up and dismantle these mines in order to sell them on the underground arms market for food and other necessaries.’
      • ‘I supervised men and women, even though they were segregated within the shop.’
      answerable, accountable
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Keep watch over (someone) in the interest of their or others' security.
      ‘the prisoners were supervised by two officers’
      • ‘First, the more compact spatial organization of the house reduces staff time spent on supervising and escorting prisoners.’
      • ‘The families said if he had employed three more security staff to supervise exit doors on the night of the fire, it would have cost him £50 more in wages or about £1 for each life lost.’
      • ‘There are now-classic images of field labor gangs supervised by mounted guards.’


Late 15th century (in the sense ‘survey, peruse’): from medieval Latin supervis- surveyed, supervised, from supervidere, from super- over + videre to see.