AskDefine | Define survey

Dictionary Definition



1 a detailed critical inspection [syn: study]
2 short descriptive summary (of events) [syn: sketch, resume]
3 the act of looking or seeing or observing; "he tried to get a better view of it"; "his survey of the battlefield was limited" [syn: view, sight]


1 consider in a comprehensive way; "He appraised the situation carefully before acting" [syn: appraise]
2 look over in a comprehensively, inspect; "He surveyed his new classmates"
3 keep under surveillance; "The police had been following him for weeks but they could not prove his involvement in the bombing" [syn: surveil, follow]
4 hold a review (of troops) [syn: review, go over]
5 make a survey of; for statistical purposes
6 plot a map of (land)

User Contributed Dictionary



From surveoir, surveer (French surveiller), from sur, sor, English sur + veoir, veeir, voir, videre. See sur- and vision.


  • sense noun
    • a UK /ˈsɜːveɪ/, /"s3:veI/, or, especially formerly, as the verb
    • a US , /ˈsɝveɪ/, /"s3`veI/, or, especially formerly, as the verb
    Rhymes with: -ɜː(r)veɪ
  • sense verb
    • a UK /səˈveɪ/, /s@"veI/
    • a US , /sɚˈveɪ/, /s@`"veI/
    Rhymes with: -eɪ


  1. The act of surveying; a general view, as from above.
    "Under his proud survey the city lies." -Sir J. Denham.
  2. A particular view; an examination, especially an official examination, of all the parts or particulars of a thing, with a design to ascertain the condition, quantity, or quality; as, a survey of the stores of a ship; a survey of roads and bridges; a survey of buildings.
  3. The operation of finding the contour, dimensions, position, or other particulars of, as any part of the earth's surface, whether land or water; also, a measured plan and description of any portion of country, or of a road or line through it.


act of surveying
  • Finnish: yleiskatsaus, yleissilmäys
  • French: examiner, explorer, fouiller, rechercher, reconnaître
  • Serbian: zemljomerstvo
an examination
  • Finnish: tarkastus, katselmus, katsaus
operation of finding the contour, dimensions or position as any part of the earth's surface
  • Finnish: kartoitus, maanmittaus
  • French: reconnaissance


  1. To inspect, or take a view of; to view with attention, as from a high place; to overlook; as, to stand on a hill, and survey the surrounding country.
    "Round he surveys and well might, where he stood, So high above." -Milton.
  2. To view with a scrutinizing eye; to examine.
    "With such altered looks, . . . All pale and speechless, he surveyed me round." -Dryden.
  3. To examine with reference to condition, situation, value, etc.; to examine and ascertain the state of; as, to survey a building in order to determine its value and exposure to loss by fire.
  4. To determine the form, extent, position, etc., of, as a tract of land, a coast, harbor, or the like, by means of linear and angular measurements, and the application of the principles of geometry and trigonometry; as, to survey land or a coast.
  5. To examine and ascertain, as the boundaries and royalties of a manor, the tenure of the tenants, and the rent and value of the same.


to view as from a high place
  • Japanese: 見回す, 見廻す, 見渡す
to inspect; to examine
  • French: inspecter
  • Japanese: 見渡す
  • Portuguese: inspecionar
to determine the status or value of
  • Japanese: 見渡す
to determine the form or borders of
  • Spanish: informe, estudio de mercado

Extensive Definition

Survey may refer to:


  • Surveying, the technique and science of measuring positions and distances on Earth
  • Aerial survey, a method of collecting information using aerial photography
  • Cadastral survey, used to document land ownership, by the production of documents, diagrams, plats, and maps
  • Dominion Land Survey, the method used to divide most of Western Canada into one-square-mile sections for agricultural and other purposes
  • Public Land Survey System, a method used in the United States to survey and identify land parcels
  • Survey township, a square unit of land, six miles (~9.7 km) on a side, used by the U.S. Public Land Survey System


Earth Sciences

  • Geological survey, an investigation of the subsurface of the ground to create a geological map or model
  • Geophysical survey, the systematic collection of geophysical data for spatial studies
  • Soil survey, the mapping of the properties and varieties of soil in a given area
  • Archaeological field survey, the collection of information by archaeologists prior to excavation
  • Hydrographic survey, the gathering of information about navigable waters for the purposes of safe navigation of vessels
  • Cave survey, the three-dimensional mapping of underground caverns; the resulting map is also referred to as a survey


  • Astronomical survey, imaging or mapping regions of the sky
  • Durchmusterung, a German word for a systematic survey of objects or data, generally used in astronomy
  • Redshift survey, an astronomical survey of a section of the sky to calculate the distance of objects from Earth


  • Survey article, a scholarly publication to summarize an area of research


survey in German: Topografie
survey in Polish: Topografia
survey in Simple English: Survey

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abbreviation, abbreviature, abrege, abridgment, abstract, analysis, appraisal, appraise, appraisement, appreciate, approximation, article, assay, assemblage, assembly, assess, assessment, assize, assizement, audit, autopsy, boss, brief, calculate, calculation, calibrate, caliper, call-up, canvass, capsule, causerie, census, chaperon, check, check a parameter, check out, check over, check up, check up on, collection, colligation, collocation, combination, command, comment upon, comparison, compend, computation, compute, con, concourse, concurrence, condensation, condensed version, conduct a poll, confluence, conflux, congregation, conspectus, consumer research, consumer-preference survey, contemplate, contemplation, convergence, corralling, correction, criticize, data-gathering, deal with, descant, determination, dial, digest, discourse, discuss, discussion, disquisition, dissert, dissertate, dissertation, divide, domination, draft, enquiry, epitome, essay, estimate, estimation, etude, evaluate, evaluation, examination, examine, excursus, exposition, eye, eyeball inspection, eyereach, eyeshot, eyesight, fathom, feature, field of view, field of vision, first approach, gathering, gauge, gauging, give an examination, give the eye, give the once-over, go into, go over, graduate, handle, hard look, head, homily, horizon, ingathering, inquire into, inquiry, inspect, inspection, instrumentation, introductory study, inventory, investigate, investigation, junction, juxtaposition, ken, leer, leer at, limit of vision, line of sight, look at, look into, look over, lucubration, make a survey, measure, measurement, measuring, memoir, mensurate, mensuration, mete, meter, metric system, mobilization, monitor, monograph, morceau, muster, naked eye, note, observe, ocular inspection, ogle, ogle at, opinion poll, outline, outlook, outlook over, overhaul, overhauling, overlook, oversee, overview, pace, pandect, paper, paragraph, pass over, pass under review, peer at, perlustration, perspective, perusal, peruse, piece, plumb, poll, pore, pore over, postmortem, precis, preliminary study, prize, probe, prolegomenon, prospect, public-opinion poll, quality control, quantification, quantify, quantization, quantize, quarterback, questionary, questionnaire, range, rate, rating, remark upon, research paper, review, rodeo, roundup, rubric, run over, run-through, sample, scan, scanning, scope, scope of vision, screed, scrutinize, scrutiny, set an examination, set at, shortened version, sight, sightliness, size, size up, skeleton, sketch, sound, span, special article, step, study, superintend, surveying, syllabus, synopsis, take a long, take a reading, take stock of, take the measure, take up, telemetering, telemetry, term paper, the eye, theme, thesis, thumbnail sketch, topical outline, touch upon, tract, tractate, treat, treat of, treatise, treatment, triangulate, triangulation, valuate, valuation, value, vet, vetting, view, visitation, vista, visual examination, weigh, write up
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