- a person who oversees or directs some work, enterprise, establishment, organization, district, etc.; supervisor.
- a person who is in charge of maintenance and repairs of an apartment house; custodian.
- a high-ranking police officer, especially a chief of police or an officer ranking next above an inspector.
Origin of superintendent
Related Words for superintendentadministrator, supervisor, custodian, chief, curator, director, manager, inspector, controller, head, conductor, caretaker, governor, boss, overseer, super, foreperson, sitter, zookeeper
Examples from the Web for superintendent
Contemporary Examples of superintendent
I happened to run into the superintendent the day we got the news, and blurted out a question in an unguarded moment.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
Superintendent Smith, in fact, had fielded a steady stream of complaints about him that never resulted in any direct action.
His sensitivity to this problem came out in his first sharp disagreement with his boss, VMI superintendent Francis H. Smith.
But Comey had little to say about what Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy recognizes as the core problem.How Chicago Became ‘Chiraq’
April 22, 2014
Superintendent of Schools Donald Trombley is quoted in The Ithaca Journal: “It is unbelievable hysteria.”The Stacks: The Searing Story of How Murder Stalked a Tiny New York Town
E. Jean Carroll
April 19, 2014
Historical Examples of superintendent
The superintendent would have refused an interview but for one consideration.
"I suppose you want to be taken back," said the superintendent, abruptly.
That evening, the lawyer called at the house of the superintendent.
I wish my father had intrusted his money to you instead of to the superintendent.
It is the superintendent of the factory in our village—a man rich, or, at any rate, well-to-do.
- a person who directs and manages an organization, office, etc
- (in Britain) a senior police officer higher in rank than an inspector but lower than a chief superintendent
- (in the US) the head of a police department
- mainly US and Canadian a caretaker, esp of a block of apartments
- of or relating to supervision; superintending
Word Origin for superintendent
1550s, originally an ecclesiastical word meaning "bishop" or "minister who supervises churches within a district" (a loan-translation of Greek episkopos "overseer"), from Medieval Latin superintendentem (nominative superintendens), from present participle of Late Latin superintendere "oversee," from Latin super "above" (see super-) + intendere "turn one's attention, direct" (see intend). Famously used by 16c. radical Protestants in place of bishop, which was to them tainted by Papacy.
[Martinists] studie to pull downe Bishopps, and set vp Superintendents, which is nothing else, but to raze out good Greeke, & enterline bad Latine. [Lyly, "Pappe with an Hatchet," 1589]
The general sense of "a person who has charge of some business" is first recorded 1580s. Meaning "janitor, custodian" is from c.1935. Shortened form super first attested 1857, especially at first of overseers of sheep ranches in Australia.