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Survey is part of the Academic Word List. It is important for students in college and university.


  • (UK) IPA (key): /ˈsɜːveɪ/, SAMPA: /"s3:veI/, or same as the verb
  • (US) enPR: sûrʹvā, IPA (key): /ˈsɝveɪ/, SAMPA: /"s3`veI/, or same as the verb




  1. (countable) A survey is a broad look at a topic or place.
    Before looking for a job, he did a survey of the companies in the area.
  2. (countable) A survey is a formal way to gather data by asking question of people: a questionnaire.
    The Architects' Journal conducted a survey of its readers to find what were considered the best modern buildings in Britain.
    The results of a recent survey by Lianhe Zhaobao show that 70% of all respondents think that Singapore is an ideal place for retirement.
  3. (countable) A land survey involves photographing and measuring the land to make a map of it.
    Before building the train tunnel, extensive geological surveys were carried out on the British side of the Channel.
  4. (countable) A survey paper/book is a general description of a topic, often introductory.
  5. (countable) A survey is the act of reading a broad range of books and articles on a particular subject.


Plain form

Third-person singular

Past tense

Past participle

Present participle

  1. (transitive) If you survey something, you look at it to try to see or understand the whole of it.
  2. (transitive) If you survey people about their thoughts or personal information, you ask a large number of people in a formal way, often using a questionnaire.
  3. (transitive) If you survey a place, you look at every part of it, often from a high spot.
  4. (transitive) If you survey books and articles, you read a large number on a particular topic.

Related words[change]