‘Oversight’ or ‘Oversite’: Which is Correct?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on December 12, 2023

Do you need to know which is correct, 'oversight' or 'oversite?' I can help!

Here is a quick answer: 

  • 'Oversight' is the correct spelling of the English term that means watchful or regulatory supervision. 
  • 'Oversite' is a common misspelling of 'oversight.'

To learn more about why people frequently misspell 'oversight' and the additional meanings of the term, keep reading!

Which is Correct, 'Oversight' or 'Oversite?'

When you are speaking to or writing for audiences in the United States, the correct spelling is always, 'oversight.' And, in most cases, 'oversight' is also the correct spelling in the U.K.

However, there are some people who may use the term 'oversite' to describe a foundation or slab poured on an existing site or to support a structure before construction begins.

In all other cases, the term 'oversight' has the same spelling and meanings in U.S. or British English.

Definition of 'Oversight': What Does 'Oversight' Mean?

'Oversight' is an interesting word because it has two almost opposite meanings. One meaning of the word is error or mistake, and the other is careful watch and supervision.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'oversight' is a noun that means:

  • Responsible and watchful care
  • Regulatory and compliance supervision

It can also mean:

  • An accidental omission or error

The Cambridge Dictionary has a slightly different definition. It defines 'oversight' as a noun that means:

  • Mistake
  • A mistake made due to a lack of attention

It can also mean:

  • Responsibility for the outcome and results of a particular task or job

Synonyms of 'Oversight'

  • Management
  • Supervision
  • Governance
  • Government
  • Operation
  • Control
  • Stewardship
  • Custody
  • Protection
  • Logistics
  • Manipulation
  • Direction
  • Handling
  • Error
  • Mistake
  • Misstep
  • Gaffe
  • Goof
  • Flub
  • Screwup
  • Stumble
  • Blunder
  • Inaccuracy
  • Misunderstanding
  • Miscalculation
  • Misjudgment
  • Misconception
  • Misstatement
  • Boner
  • Howler
  • Fault
  • Slip

Definition of 'Oversite': What Does 'Oversite' Mean?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary does not have a definition for the term 'oversite.' However, people occasionally use the term to describe concrete poured over an existing site or to prepare a surface for construction.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Oversight'

Now, let's learn how to pronounce 'oversight' correctly. Learning pronunciation is a valuable skill because it boosts your confidence and helps you become a stronger verbal and written communicator.

So, here is a guide for pronouncing 'oversight.'

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'oversight' or 'oversite':


When and How to Use 'Oversight'

'Oversight' is a tricky term because it can mean a mistake or to manage or supervise something. So, here are some tips on when and how to use 'oversight' correctly.

  • Use 'oversight' to refer to responsible care of something.

For example, I might say:

Your oversight of the project means a lot. We want to ensure the products are ready to ship by our target date. 

  • Use 'oversight' when you are speaking about an inadvertent error.

As an example, you could say:

Susie left the last page of the contract blank. I am sure it was just an oversight, but we need to have her complete it as soon as possible. 

  • Use 'oversight' when you are talking about the task of ensuring that a job is completed accurately.

For example, you might hear someone say:

If you need assistance completing the task, speak to the oversight manager. They should have tools to help you. 

  • Use 'oversite' to describe a concrete slab poured over an existing site.

So, you can say something like:

We are waiting for the construction crew to pour an oversite here to level the lot before we start building next month.

'Oversite' is only an acceptable spelling when it refers to a concrete slab or area. In all other cases, the correct spelling is 'oversight.'  So, unless you work in construction or write for that industry, you will hardly ever use the latter spelling.

Sample Sentences Using 'Oversight'

Next, read these sample sentences using the terms 'oversight' or 'oversite' to ensure that you understand and remember how to use each.


  • We are electing an oversight committee to oversee the operation and ensure the workers are ethical.
  • The oversight caused a major delay for the team. So, the supervisor reminded everyone of the importance of doing things right the first time.
  • Your oversight of the situation helps to keep morale high.
  • Your oversight of the matter is imperative. Without someone managing the deliveries, they may arrive late or damaged.
  • Oversight is a critical part of keeping your office in compliance.
  • If you do not have a dedicated oversight team, you should consider assigning a few employees to do the job.
  • When you are in charge of oversight, you cannot have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude.
  • Check in with the oversight specialist at each checkpoint so they know what stage you are working on.


  • Remember that oversite is usually a misspelling.
  • Occasionally, British-English-speaking people use the term oversite to describe an area where concrete covers a previous site.
  • Meet us at the oversite to discuss the construction schedule next week.
  • We are going to pour an oversite on the location that should help prepare it for construction.

Final Review: Which is Correct 'Oversight' vs. 'Oversite'

Finally, let's recap what you learned about whether 'oversight' or 'oversite' is correct: 

  • 'Oversight' is the correct spelling of the English term that means to supervise a job or task to ensure it is completed accurately or an inadvertent error or mistake. 
  • 'Oversite' is usually a misspelling. However, it can sometimes mean a concrete slab poured over a previous building site. 

Remembering the correct spelling of terms like 'oversight' can be challenging. So, if you need a reminder, you can always return to this post to review this lesson.

You can also learn about hundreds of other commonly misused, misspelled, and mispronounced English terms in the confusing words section here.

Each guide contains a brief overview and detailed description of the topic with definitions, grammar rules, and writing tips. So, whether you are a native speaker or learning English as a second language, each guide will help you expand your vocabulary and learn to use the terms the post covers grammatically.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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