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[ser-vey-er] /sərˈveɪ ər/
a person whose occupation is surveying.
an overseer or supervisor.
Chiefly British. a person who inspects something officially for the purpose of ascertaining condition, value, etc.
(formerly) a U.S. customs official responsible for ascertaining the quantity and value of imported merchandise.
(initial capital letter) U.S. Aerospace. one of a series of space probes (1966–68) that analyzed lunar soil and obtained other scientific information after soft-landing on the moon.
Origin of surveyor
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English surveio(u)r < Anglo-French surveiour; Middle French surve(i)our, equivalent to surve(i)- (see survey) + -our -or2
Related forms
surveyorship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for surveyor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This Niebuhr, who was a surveyor by profession, was a young man who deserves our admiration.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • The surveyor of Hartwell also notes that the "tenements there be in decay."

    The Enclosures in England Harriett Bradley
  • Mounted men, carrying the tools and instruments of the surveyor, galloped about.

    The Boy Settlers

    Noah Brooks
  • He was later to become deputy-auditor and surveyor of the woods.

    The Fathers of New England Charles M. Andrews
  • Alderson bore down upon him, triangulating the deck like a surveyor.

    Little Miss Grouch Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • The teacher also ruled our paper for us, into little squares, like a surveyor's notebook.

    The Promised Land Mary Antin
  • No surveyor had ever happened along to give them their latitude and longitude.

    Lost Face Jack London
  • The colonel took a bunch of keys and tried them on the door of the surveyor's office.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • He, the clerk, cook and surveyor consult over their Lords dinner.

British Dictionary definitions for surveyor


a person whose occupation is to survey land or buildings See also quantity surveyor
(mainly Brit) a person concerned with the official inspection of something for purposes of measurement and valuation
a person who carries out surveys, esp of ships (marine surveyor) to determine seaworthiness, etc
a customs official
(archaic) a supervisor
Derived Forms
surveyorship, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for surveyor

late 14c., from Anglo-French surveiour, from Middle French surveor, from Old French verb surveeir (see survey (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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