[ uhb-zur-vuhnt ]
/ əbˈzɜr vənt /


quick to notice or perceive; alert.
looking at, watching, or regarding attentively; watchful.
careful in the observing of a law, custom, religious ritual, or the like.


an observer of law or rule.
(initial capital letter) Also Ob·ser·van·tine [ob-zur-vuhn-tin, -teen] /ɒbˈzɜr vən tɪn, -ˌtin/. a member of a Franciscan order that observes the strict rule of St. Francis.

Nearby words

  1. obsequies,
  2. obsequious,
  3. obsequy,
  4. observable,
  5. observance,
  6. observation,
  7. observation car,
  8. observation post,
  9. observational,
  10. observative

Origin of observant

1425–75; late Middle English < French, present participle of observer. See observe, -ant

Related formsob·serv·ant·ly, adverbun·ob·serv·ant, adjectiveun·ob·serv·ant·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for observant

British Dictionary definitions for observant


/ (əbˈzɜːvənt) /


paying close attention to detail; watchful or heedful
adhering strictly to rituals, ceremonies, laws, etc
Derived Formsobservantly, adverb

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

Word Origin and History for observant



1590s, from observe + -ant, or else from French observant, past participle of observer (see observance). In reference to Judaism, from 1902. As a noun from late 15c. Related: Observantly; observantness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper