from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Close observation of a person or group, especially one under suspicion.
- n. The act of observing or the condition of being observed.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Close observation of an individual or group; person or persons under suspicion.
- n. Continuous monitoring of disease occurrence for example.
- n. Systematic observation of places and people by visual, aural, electronic, photographic or other means.
- n. In criminal law, an investigation process by which police gather evidence about crimes, or suspected crime, through continued observation of persons or places.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Oversight; watch; inspection; supervision.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Oversight; superintendence; supervision; watch; spying.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. close observation of a person or group (usually by the police)
Borrowing from French surveillance ("a watching over, overseeing, supervision"), from surveiller ("to watch, oversee"), from sur- ("over") + veiller ("to watch"), from Middle French, from Old French veillier ("to stay awake"), from Latin vigilāre, present active infinitive of vigilō ("I am watchful"). More at vigilant. (Wiktionary)