[ soo-per-vahy-zer ]
/ ˈsu pərˌvaɪ zər /


a person who supervises workers or the work done by others; superintendent.
Education. an official responsible for assisting teachers in the preparation of syllabuses, in devising teaching methods, etc., in a department of instruction, especially in public schools.
(in some U.S. states) the chief elected administrative officer of a township, who is often also a member of the governing board of the county.

Nearby words

  1. supervenient,
  2. supervention,
  3. supervise,
  4. supervision,
  5. supervision order,
  6. supervisory,
  7. supervisory board,
  8. superwaif,
  9. superweed,
  10. superwoman

Origin of supervisor

1425–75; late Middle English < Medieval Latin supervīsor, equivalent to supervid-, stem of supervidēre to supervise + -tor -tor, with dt > s

Related formssu·per·vi·sor·ship, nounpre·su·per·vi·sor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for supervisor


/ (ˈsuːpəˌvaɪzə) /


a person who manages or supervises
a foreman or forewoman
(in some British universities) a tutor supervising the work, esp research work, of a student
(in some US schools) an administrator running a department of teachers
(in some US states) the elected chief official of a township or other subdivision of a county
obsolete a spectator
Derived Formssupervisorship, noun

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 supervisor



"one who inspects and directs the work of others," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin supervisor, agent noun from supervidere (see supervise).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper