verb (used with object), o·ver·saw, o·ver·seen, o·ver·see·ing.

  1. to direct (work or workers); supervise; manage: He was hired to oversee the construction crews.
  2. to see or observe secretly or unintentionally: We happened to oversee the burglar leaving the premises. He was overseen stealing the letters.
  3. to survey or watch, as from a higher position.
  4. to look over; examine; inspect.

verb -sees, -seeing, -saw or -seen (tr)

  1. to watch over and direct; supervise
  2. to watch secretly or accidentally

v.Old English oferseon “to look down upon, keep watch over, survey, observe;” see over + see (v.). Meaning “to supervise” is attested from mid-15c. The verb lacks the double sense of similar overlook, but this emerges in the noun form oversight. Related: Oversaw; overseen.

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