verb (used with object), sur·veilled, sur·veil·ling.

to place under surveillance.

Origin of surveil

First recorded in 1965–70; back formation from surveillance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for surveil

Contemporary Examples of surveil

British Dictionary definitions for surveil


verb (tr)

to observe closely the activities of (a person or group)

Word Origin for surveil

C20: back formation from surveillance
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 surveil

1904, back-formation from surveillance. Sometimes also surveille. Related: Surveilled; surveilling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper