- an act or instance of noticing or perceiving.
- an act or instance of regarding attentively or watching.
- the faculty or habit of observing or noticing.
- notice: to escape a person's observation.
- an act or instance of viewing or noting a fact or occurrence for some scientific or other special purpose: the observation of blood pressure under stress.
- the information or record secured by such an act.
- something that is learned in the course of observing things: My observation is that such clouds mean a storm.
- a remark, comment, or statement based on what one has noticed or observed.
- the condition of being observed.
- the measurement of the altitude or azimuth of a heavenly body for navigational purposes.
- the information obtained by such a measurement.
- Obsolete. observance, as of the law.
Origin of observation
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for observation
Barack Obama was not the first Liberal to make this observation.The Liberal Case Against Illegal Immigration
November 25, 2014
To make matters worse, it is my observation that these policies do not hit all parents equally.The Doctor’s Note Must Die!
September 16, 2014
The only gauge of normality that young people have is their observation of each other.Kids Don’t Know How Overweight They Really Are
July 29, 2014
That brings us back to the observation of a pair of black holes in the process of dismembering a star in a distant galaxy.Black Hole Pair Caught in Feeding Frenzy
Matthew R. Francis
April 27, 2014
He was giving a little history lesson about the 18th century and making an observation, a promise—or a threat—for the future.‘New Russia’ on the Rise in Odessa
April 23, 2014
She was conveyed to the palace in a cedar carriage, carefully screened from observation.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
My field of observation has been at home, here in America; but it has been the same in France.
I freely say that the tendency of my thought, based on observation, is to conservatism.
By observation, the camp was in latitude 31 degrees 42 minutes South.Explorations in Australia
By observation, the elevation of this encampment is 2,250 feet.The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California
Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont
- the act of observing or the state of being observed
- a comment or remark
- detailed examination of phenomena prior to analysis, diagnosis, or interpretationthe patient was under observation
- the facts learned from observing
- an obsolete word for observance
- a sight taken with an instrument to determine the position of an observer relative to that of a given heavenly body
- the data so taken
Word Origin and History for observation
late 14c., "performance of a religious rite," from Latin observationem (nominative observatio) "a watching over, observance, investigation," noun of action from past participle stem of observare (see observe). Sense of "act or fact of paying attention" is from 1550s. Meaning "a remark in reference to something observed" first recorded 1590s.