View synonyms for supervise


[ soo-per-vahyz ]

verb (used with object)

, su·per·vised, su·per·vis·ing.
  1. to oversee (a process, work, workers, etc.) during execution or performance; superintend; have the oversight and direction of.

    Synonyms: guide, control, direct, manage


/ ˌsuːpəˈvɪʒən; ˈsuːpəˌvaɪz /


  1. to direct or oversee the performance or operation of
  2. to watch over so as to maintain order, etc
“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

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Derived Forms

  • supervision, noun
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Other Words From

  • non·super·vising adjective
  • pre·super·vise verb (used with object) presupervised presupervising
  • quasi-super·vised adjective
  • un·super·vised adjective
  • well-super·vised adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of supervise1

First recorded in 1580–90; from Medieval Latin supervīsus “overseen,” past participle of supervidēre “to oversee,” from super- super- + vidēre “to see”; wit 2
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Word History and Origins

Origin of supervise1

C16: from Medieval Latin supervidēre, from Latin super- + vidēre to see
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Example Sentences

Construction is being supervised by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which had estimated the project would be ready to hand over to Metro this spring.

Some students are doing all-virtual learning from their classrooms, supervised by an aide.

The New Haven school board, supervising some 20,600 students, worried about the safety of buildings and buses, about protecting staff and students, about possible spikes in infections, and more.

When his mother is outside in the panda area, Xiao Qi Ji likes to come out of the den and “supervise” the keepers “as they clean and get the habitat ready for Mei Xiang’s return,” officials said.

American women with children are also three times as likely to have lost work, according to the Pew Center, as mothers are often tasked with more child care, or supervised at-home schooling.

From Eater


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More About 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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What are some words that often get used in discussing supervise?


How is supervise used in real life?

Supervise is most commonly used in the context of parenting, childcare, and the workplace.



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




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