—v.t. 1. to take a general or comprehensive view of or appraise, as a situation, area of study, etc.
2. to view in detail, esp. to inspect, examine, or appraise formally or officially in order to ascertain condition, value, etc.
3. to conduct a survey of or among: to survey TV viewers. 4. to determine the exact form, boundaries, position, extent, etc., of (a tract of land, section of a country, etc.) by linear and angular measurements and the application of the principles of geometry and trigonometry.
—v.i. to survey land; practice surveying.
—n. 1. an act or instance of surveying or of taking a comprehensive view of something: The course is a survey of Italian painting. 2. a formal or official examination of the particulars of something, made in order to ascertain condition, character, etc.
3. a statement or description embodying the result of this: They presented their survey to the board of directors. 4. a sampling, or partial collection, of facts, figures, or opinions taken and used to approximate or indicate what a complete collection and analysis might reveal: The survey showed the percentage of the population that planned to vote. 5. the act of determining the exact form, boundaries, position, etc., as of a tract of land or section of a country, by linear measurements, angular measurements, etc.
6. the plan or description resulting from such an operation.
7. an agency for making determinations: U.S. Geological Survey.