Etymology
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survey (n.)

late 15c., survei, "oversight, supervision," from survey (v.). The meaning "act of viewing in detail" is from 1540s. Meaning "systematic collection of data on opinions, etc." is attested from 1927.

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ordnance (n.)

"cannon and great guns collectively, artillery," 1540s, an old, clipped form of ordinance (q.v.) which word was attested from late 14c. in the sense of "military materials, provisions of war;" a sense now obsolete but which led to the specialized meanings "engines for discharging missiles" (early 15c.) and "branch of the military concerned with stores and materials" (late 15c.). The shorter word was established in these distinct senses by 17c.

The Ordnance survey (1833), an official geographical survey of Great Britain and Ireland, was undertaken by the government under the direction of the Master-General of the Ordnance (the natural choice, gunners being thoroughly trained in surveying ranges and distances).

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survey (v.)

c. 1400, "to consider, contemplate," from Anglo-French surveier, Old French sorveoir "look (down) at, look upon, notice; guard, watch," from Medieval Latin supervidere "oversee, inspect," from Latin super "over" (see super-) + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Meaning "examine the condition of" is from mid-15c. That of "to take linear measurements of a tract of ground" is recorded from 1540s. Related: Surveyed; surveying; surveyance (late 14c.).

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resurvey (v.)

1590s, "examine or read over, review," from re- "again, back" + survey (v.). Sense of "survey (land) again" is from 1747. Related: Resurveyed; resurveying. As a noun from 1660s, "a fresh survey."

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geodetic (adj.)

1834, see geodesic. Related: Geodetical; geodetically. A geodetic survey takes account of the curvature of the earth to obtain unity of results. The U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey dates to 1879.

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surveyor (n.)

early 15c. (late 14c. as a surname), from Anglo-French surveiour "guard, overseer," Old French sorveor, from Old French verb sorveoir "to survey" (see survey (v.)).

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high-powered (adj.)

1829, originally of magnification, from high (adj.) + power (v.). By 1840s of engines, 1860s of ordnance, 1900 of automobiles.

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Dahlgren (n.)

type of cast-iron smooth-bore naval artillery cannon, by 1854, named for its inventor, U.S. naval ordnance officer John A. Dahlgren (1809-1870), who was of Swedish ancestry.

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bombard (v.)

1590s, "to fire heavy guns," from French bombarder, from bombarde "mortar, catapult" (see bombard (n.)). The meaning "attack with heavy ordnance" is from 1680s. The figurative sense "assail persistently" is by 1765. Related: Bombarded; bombarding.

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reconnoiter (v.)

also reconnoitre, 1707, "make a survey," specifically "to examine a tract or region for military or engineering purposes," from older French reconnoitre (Modern French reconnaître), from Old French reconoistre "to identify" (see recognize). Related: Reconnoitering.

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