Definition of surveillance in English:



  • Close observation, especially of a suspected spy or criminal.

    ‘he found himself put under surveillance by military intelligence’
    • ‘We are putting all our sources of surveillance and intelligence together to catch him.’
    • ‘Their communities were criminalised and subject to excessive police surveillance.’
    • ‘An unpolitical lad is blackmailed by the police into doing undercover surveillance in a mosque.’
    • ‘He says the government cheated him out of money and claims to be under surveillance by the FBI.’
    • ‘The boat used was under constant surveillance from the time it entered United Kingdom waters.’
    • ‘He planned an operation requiring covert surveillance, to arrest several suspects.’
    • ‘They also ordered him to receive intensive supervision and surveillance on his release.’
    • ‘The arrests marked the end of weeks of surveillance after a spate of arrests in Europe.’
    • ‘It expands the ability of the government to spy by wiretaps and computer surveillance.’
    • ‘This review represents a pragmatic evaluation of two broad strategies of surveillance.’
    • ‘Terrorism has to be fought with knowledge, with surveillance and intelligence.’
    • ‘Is workplace surveillance making us comfortable with surveillance in general?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the last two years we have increased both CCTV surveillance and security patrols.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This was despite the fact that all nine suspects were under constant surveillance.’
    • ‘It is understood police had the suspects under surveillance for weeks before the robbery.’
    • ‘Of course, such surveillance has been widely possible only in recent times.’
    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).