Surveillance definition

sər-vāləns
Close observation of a person or group, especially one under suspicion.
noun
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Monitoring people's actions and behavior either via camera or by tracking financial transactions. Surveillance is performed by governments for the protection of its people such as detecting criminals or for the preservation of an authoritarian administration. See connected camera, CCTV, network camera, facial recognition and sousveillance.
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The act of observing or the condition of being observed.
noun
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Surveillance is the close observation of someone, often in order to catch them in wrongdoing.

An example of surveillance is a private detective hired to follow a cheating spouse before divorce proceedings.

noun
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Supervision or inspection.
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noun
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(military, espionage) Systematic observation of places and people by visual, aural, electronic, photographic or other means.
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(law) In criminal law, an investigation process by which police gather evidence about crimes, or suspected crime, through continued observation of persons or places.
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Close observation of an individual or group; person or persons under suspicion.
noun
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A legal investigative process entailing a close observing or listening to a person in effort to gather evidentiary information about the commission of a crime, or lesser improper behavior (as with surveillance of wayward spouse in domestic relations proceedings). Wiretapping, eavesdropping, shadowing, tailing, and electronic observation are all examples of this law-enforcement technique.
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Close watch kept over someone, esp. a suspect.
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Constant observation of a place or process.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
surveillance
Plural:
surveillances

Origin of surveillance

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary