Definition of surveillance in English:



  • [mass noun] Close observation, especially of a suspected spy or criminal:

    ‘he found himself put under surveillance by British military intelligence’
    • ‘The boat used was under constant surveillance from the time it entered United Kingdom waters.’
    • ‘They also ordered him to receive intensive supervision and surveillance on his release.’
    • ‘An unpolitical lad is blackmailed by the police into doing undercover surveillance in a mosque.’
    • ‘Monitoring and surveillance of drug efficacy is being built into operational programmes.’
    • ‘For years, undercover surveillance was the domain of warring couples and the old DHSS.’
    • ‘It is understood police had the suspects under surveillance for weeks before the robbery.’
    • ‘In the last two years we have increased both CCTV surveillance and security patrols.’
    • ‘We are putting all our sources of surveillance and intelligence together to catch him.’
    • ‘Of course, such surveillance has been widely possible only in recent times.’
    • ‘Police have been monitoring the site and using covert surveillance to trap the troublemakers.’
    • ‘I've had issues with the levels of surveillance that are appearing in the UK for quite a while now.’
    • ‘He says the government cheated him out of money and claims to be under surveillance by the FBI.’
    • ‘Terrorism has to be fought with knowledge, with surveillance and intelligence.’
    • ‘Is workplace surveillance making us comfortable with surveillance in general?’
    • ‘Their communities were criminalised and subject to excessive police surveillance.’
    • ‘This review represents a pragmatic evaluation of two broad strategies of surveillance.’
    • ‘This was despite the fact that all nine suspects were under constant surveillance.’
    • ‘The arrests marked the end of weeks of surveillance after a spate of arrests in Europe.’
    • ‘He planned an operation requiring covert surveillance, to arrest several suspects.’
    • ‘It expands the ability of the government to spy by wiretaps and computer surveillance.’
    observation, scrutiny, watch, view, inspection, monitoring, supervision, superintendence
    spying, espionage, intelligence, undercover work, infiltration, reconnaissance
    bugging, wiretapping, phone tapping, recon
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Early 19th century: from French, from sur- over + veiller watch (from Latin vigilare keep watch).