verb (used with object), su·per·vised, su·per·vis·ing.
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Origin of supervise
OTHER WORDS FROM supervise
Words nearby supervise
What does supervise mean?
Supervise means to oversee, watch over, and provide direction for someone or something.
You can supervise a project or process as it’s happening, but most of the time the word refers to supervising people, especially parents supervising their children or a manager or supervisor supervising their employees.
The noun form of supervise is supervision. Someone being supervised is said to be under supervision. When it’s used in the context of adults watching children, the word often appears in the phrases parental supervision and adult supervision. Children or other people who can’t be left alone are said to need constant supervision. When they are left alone, they’re said to be unsupervised.
The adjective form supervisory describes things that involve supervision, such as in the phrases supervisory role and supervisory capacity.
Example: The key to supervising your employees effectively is giving them enough space to do their jobs, instead of constantly standing over their shoulders.
Where does supervise come from?
The first records of the word supervise come from the 1500s. It comes from the Medieval Latin supervidēre, meaning “to oversee.” In fact, the word supervise quite literally means the same thing as oversee—the prefix super- means “over” or “above,” and the Latin verb vidēre means “to see” (the English word vision is based on the same root).
Sometimes, people who supervise literally watch from above—like a supervisor supervising their employees from an office above the factory floor. In most cases, though, supervise simply refers to overseeing closely to make sure something is proceeding as planned or that someone is doing what they should be, such as a project and the people working on it. Some employees need to be supervised more than others. The same thing goes for children, but very young children almost always need to be supervised in some way. The phrases adult supervision and parental supervision often refer to the requirement for children to be watched by a parent or other adult, especially in public spaces.
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What are some other forms related to supervise?
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How is supervise used in real life?
Supervise is most commonly used in the context of parenting, childcare, and the workplace.
I’m just at the swimming pool with the younger kids and I CANNOT BELIEVE how many parents are on their phones instead of adequately supervising their children
Sent from my iPhone
— Hans Anitizer (@Dean_Nimbly) September 2, 2018
Amazing bosses do a few things differently. If you supervise others, make sure you do the following: https://t.co/UUeBwIxtpy
— Harvard Business Review (@HarvardBiz) January 4, 2016
The one who steals and he who supervises the stealing are both thieves. to think otherwise is folly.
— 'Femi Amos (@FAmos_D) February 10, 2017
Try using supervise!
Which of the following things should a person NOT do if they’re supposed to be supervising someone or something?
A. watch over
B. provide guidance
C. keep an eye on things
D. ignore the situation