View synonyms for observance


[ uhb-zur-vuhns ]


  1. an act or instance of following, obeying, or conforming to:

    the observance of traffic laws.

    Synonyms: heedfulness, adherence, compliance

  2. a keeping or celebration by appropriate procedure, ceremonies, etc.:

    the observance of the Sabbath.

  3. a procedure, ceremony, or rite, as for a particular occasion:

    patriotic observances.

  4. a rule or custom to be followed or obeyed; a customary practice.
  5. Roman Catholic Church.
    1. a rule or discipline for a religious house or order.
    2. a house or order observing a rule or discipline.
  6. an act or instance of watching, noting, or perceiving; observation.
  7. respectful attention or service.
  8. Archaic. courteous attention as to a person; dutiful service.


/ əbˈzɜːvəns /


  1. recognition of or compliance with a law, custom, practice, etc
  2. the act of such recognition
  3. a ritual, ceremony, or practice, esp of a religion
  4. observation or attention
  5. the degree of strictness of a religious order or community in following its rule
  6. archaic.
    respectful or deferential attention

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Other Words From

  • preob·servance noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of observance1

1175–1225; Middle English observaunce < Old French < Late Latin observantia, Latin: esteem, attention, derivative of observant- (stem of observāns ), present participle of observāre. See observe, -ance

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Example Sentences

Universal observance of safety guidelines was surely going to be sufficient to limit viral spread.

From Time

There was nothing about his faith observance, his associate’s degree and his performance work.

The superintendent said his staff identified the 15 observance days by looking through Fairfax attendance data to find any day on which student or staff observances exceeded the average at least once over the past five years.

The quarantine has shown its effectiveness in controlling the situation here and a strict observance of its rules will soon bring the bugs to time again.

From Time

Finally, Term Sheet will be off on Monday in observance of Labor Day!

From Fortune

Even for Washington and Lincoln one observance day was enough.

The conversion process has become longer and more complex, requiring an uncompromising observance of halakhic precepts.

Virtually the entire city of Dallas seems to be involved in planning one memorial observance or another.

He does not wear a skullcap, the most prominent marker of Orthodox observance.

One salient difference between the U.S. and U.K. is the level of religious observance.

The observance, under various phases, is described in Scripture as an undisputed and indisputable reality.

All things that could give solemnity to an observance unite to invest this with a devout character.

The devotional reading of the story is a most natural and helpful observance of the Easter season.

The observance is incumbent on an individual in a certain condition; but his heart is against it.

The prophet prayeth to be delivered from his enemies, and preacheth up the observance of the sabbath.