• synonyms


[soo-per-in-tend, soo-prin-]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to oversee and direct (work, processes, etc.).
  2. to exercise supervision over (an institution, district, place, etc.).
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Origin of superintend

From the Late Latin word superintendere, dating back to 1605–15. See super-, intend


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for superintend

Historical Examples

  • Nelson, who was appointed to superintend the evacuation, frustrated these projects.

    The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson

    Robert Southey

  • In 1882 he returned to New York, to superintend the installation of his system in that city.

  • If a bridge was to be constructed, or a road repaired, he was sent for to superintend it.

  • I superintend the dairies; the butter and the cheese are the produce of my industry.


    William Godwin

  • But now they would be needed to superintend the more delicate work.

    The Black Star Passes

    John W Campbell

British Dictionary definitions for superintend


  1. to undertake the direction or supervision (of); manage
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Derived Formssuperintendence, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Church Latin superintendere, from Latin super- + intendere to give attention to
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 superintend


1610s, from Church Latin superintendere (see superintendent). Related: Superintended; superintending.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper