Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[uh b-zur-ver] /əbˈzɜr vər/
someone or something that observes.
a delegate to an assembly or gathering, who is sent to observe and report but not to take part officially in its activities.
U.S. Air Force.
  1. a member of an aircrew, other than the pilot, holding an aeronautical rating.
  2. a person who maintains observation in an aircraft during flight.
Also called air observer, aircraft observer. U.S. Army. a person who serves in an aircraft as a reconnoiterer and directs artillery fire.
Origin of observer
First recorded in 1545-55; observe + -er1
Related forms
observership, noun
interobserver, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for observer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • These are questions which the observer should put to himself.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse United States Department of Agriculture
  • This afternoon, an observer would have thought the affair was proceeding to this point.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • This indicated to the firing battery that the observer had not seen the last shot.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol Henry Harley Arnold
  • We know that an observer of nature always has to know his own personal equation.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Their marchings and countermarchings are said to remind the observer of the manœuvres of soldiers on parade.

British Dictionary definitions for observer


a person or thing that observes
a person who attends a conference solely to note the proceedings
a person trained to identify aircraft, esp, formerly, a member of an aircrew
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for observer

1550s, "one who keeps a rule, custom, etc.," agent noun from observe. Meaning "one who watches and takes notice" is from 1580s; this is the sense of the word in many newspaper names.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for observer

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for observer

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for observer