To examine or look at comprehensively. To inspect carefully; scrutinize: "Two women were surveying the other people on the platform\u201d ( Thomas Wolfe). See Synonyms at see1. To determine the boundaries, area, or elevations of (land or structures on the earth's surface) by means of measuring angles and distances, using the techniques of geometry and trigonometry. Chiefly British To inspect and determine the structural condition of (a building). To conduct a statistical survey on. To range one's gaze leisurely over. To make a survey. A detailed inspection or investigation. A general or comprehensive view. A gathering of a sample of data or opinions considered to be representative of a whole. The process of surveying. A report on or map of what has been surveyed. An administrative agency charged with the responsibility of surveying: the U.S. Geological Survey.