- to direct (work or workers); supervise; manage: He was hired to oversee the construction crews.
- to see or observe secretly or unintentionally: We happened to oversee the burglar leaving the premises. He was overseen stealing the letters.
- to survey or watch, as from a higher position.
- to look over; examine; inspect.
Origin of oversee
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for oversaw
Two years ago in Michigan, she oversaw AFP operations to help the Republican-controlled legislature pass sweeping anti-union laws.The Next Phase of the Koch Brothers’ War on Unions
Carl Deal and Tia Lessin
December 22, 2014
Umberto, who went by Albert, oversaw mob killings during his reign in the mid-1900s.Brooklyn’s Gangster Graveyard
October 23, 2014
Filed away within the annals of the New York Historical Society, it escaped the notice of those who oversaw the archives.New York’s Century-Old Time Capsule Is a Dud
October 8, 2014
He oversaw a brutal regime, aimed at instilling respect, deference and acceptance of duty into the princes.Kate and William’s Royal Family Values
September 22, 2014
He implemented the program, oversaw it, and defended it, to say nothing of the secret prisons, which he also directed.Time to Reopen the Case on CIA Torture
June 3, 2014
The younger Vestals, whose attendance on the sacred fire and care of the Temple she oversaw, wondered at her exacting petulance.A Friend of Caesar
William Stearns Davis
Mr. Templeton had two children—a son who was with Price, and a daughter who oversaw the household, the mother being dead.The Courier of the Ozarks
Byron A. Dunn
This was no slight aid to her, and leaving the management of the helm to him, she oversaw the management of the piece herself.Fanny Campbell, The Female Pirate Captain
Maturin Murray Ballou
Austin was at home in the morning and evening and oversaw their work, helping with the heavier part.The Hero of Hill House
- to watch over and direct; supervise
- to watch secretly or accidentally
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
Word Origin and History for oversaw
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper