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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Survey


SURVEY, verb transitive [Latin video, videre.]

1. To inspect or take a view of; to view with attention, as from a high place; as, to stand on a hill, and survey the surrounding country. It denotes more particular and deliberate attention than look or see.

2. To view with a scrutinizing eye; to examine.

With such alter'd looks,

All pale and speechless, he survey'd me round.

3. To examine with reference to condition, situation and value; as, to survey a building to determine its value and exposure to loss by fire.

4. To measure, as land; or to ascertain the contents of land by lines and angles.

5. To examine or ascertain the position and distances of objects on the shore of the sea, the depth of water, nature of the bottom, and whatever may be necessary to facilitate the navigation of the waters and render the entrance into harbors, sounds and rivers easy and safe. Thus officers are employed to survey the coast and make charts of the same.

6. To examine and ascertain, as the boundaries and royalties of a manor, the tenure of the tenants, and the rent and value of the same.

7. To examine and ascertain, as the state of agriculture.

SUR'VEY, noun [formerly accented on the last syllable.]

1. An attentive view; a look or looking with care. He took a survey of the whole landscape.

Under his proud survey the city lies.

2. A particular view; an examination of all the parts or particulars of a thing, with a design to ascertain the condition, quantity or quality; as a survey of the stores, provisions or munitions of a ship. So also a survey of roads and bridges is made by proper officers; a survey of buildings is intended to ascertain their condition, value and exposure to fire. A survey of land includes mensuration and the ascertainment of quantity. A survey of a harbor, sound or coast comprehends an examination of the distance and bearing of points of land, isles, shoals, depth of water, course of channels, etc. A survey of agriculture includes a view of the state of property, buildings, fences, modes of cultivation, crops, gardens, orchards, woods, livestock, etc. And in general, survey denotes a particular view and examination of any thing.

3. In the United States, a district for the collection of the customs, under the inspection and authority of a particular officer.

Trigonometrical survey the measurement of an arc of the meridian by means of a series of triangles.