- a watch kept over a person, group, etc., especially over a suspect, prisoner, or the like: The suspects were under police surveillance.
- continuous observation of a place, person, group, or ongoing activity in order to gather information: video cameras used for covert surveillance.See also electronic surveillance.
- attentive observation, as to oversee and direct someone or something: increased surveillance of patients with chronic liver disease.
Origin of surveillance
Examples from the Web for surveillance
These include having his personal guards conduct 24-hour surveillance outside her home, according to affidavits.Glock Founder Puts Bullseye on Ex-Wife
December 6, 2014
A surveillance video shows the radio car driving directly into the park, just feet from the youngster.The Cleveland Cops Who Fired 137 Shots and Cried Victim
December 2, 2014
A senior Pentagon official agreed that there is a shortage of surveillance planes needed to track down ISIS.Drone ‘Shortage’ Hampers ISIS War
November 18, 2014
They were both caught on surveillance camera outside of Watch Standard.How to Get Away With Stealing $2 Million in Jewelry in the Heart of New York
November 13, 2014
According to reports, he received several standing ovations by railing against the government's surveillance programs.Rand Paul's Bill Maher Problem
October 14, 2014
It was only during a pause for breath that he became aware of the surveillance.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
Was it the consciousness of this surveillance that made every one keep the house?A Day's Ride
Charles James Lever
It was the citoyen Beauvisage, of the Committee of Surveillance.The Gods are Athirst
After awhile, he became conscious that he was under a sort of surveillance.White Lies
And then, released from surveillance, exhausted in mind and body—he fell again.The Lowest Rung
- close observation or supervision maintained over a person, group, etc, esp one in custody or under suspicion
Word Origin and History for surveillance
1802, from French surveillance "oversight, supervision, a watch," noun of action from surveiller "oversee, watch," from sur- "over" + veiller "to watch," from Latin vigilare, from vigil "watchful" (see vigil). Seemingly a word of the Terror in France.
- Close observation of a person or group, especially one under suspicion.
- The act of observing or the condition of being observed.
- The collection, collation, analysis, and dissemination of data.
- A type of observational study that involves continuous monitoring of disease occurrence within a population.