"a survey, a summary," 1934, American English, from over- + view (n.). In 17c. it meant "inspection, supervision," but by late 19c. this became obsolete. As a verb, 1540s as "look (something) over or through;" 1560s as "view from a superior position;" both now rare or obsolete. The modern word seems to be a new formation; it was mentioned in "American Speech" (1934) as "now being worked as hard by educationalists as 'purposeful', 'challenge', 'objective', 'motivation', et al."