an omission or error due to carelessness: My bank statement is full of oversights.
unintentional failure to notice or consider; lack of proper attention: Owing to my oversight, the letter was sent unsigned.
supervision; watchful care: a person responsible for the oversight of the organization.

Origin of oversight

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at over-, sight
Can be confusedoverlook oversee oversight

Synonyms for oversight

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oversight

Contemporary Examples of oversight

Historical Examples of oversight

  • But those who judge thus are guilty of a most remarkable act of oversight.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • By any thinking man the effect of this oversight will be instantly perceived.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "He calls an oversight forgery, sir," returned the latter huskily.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • "Nor I either," said he, half chagrined, for his move was an oversight.

    The O'Donoghue

    Charles James Lever

  • This word is in the original text printed twice by an oversight.

British Dictionary definitions for oversight



an omission or mistake, esp one made through failure to notice something
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 oversight

"supervision," early 14c., from over- + sight. Meaning "omission of notice, fact of passing over without seeing" attested from late 15c.; cf. oversee.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper