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  1. quick to notice or perceive; alert.
  2. looking at, watching, or regarding attentively; watchful.
  3. careful in the observing of a law, custom, religious ritual, or the like.
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  1. an observer of law or rule.
  2. (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.
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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

Synonyms for observant

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Antonyms for observant

1. dull, slow. 2. heedless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for observant


  1. paying close attention to detail; watchful or heedful
  2. adhering strictly to rituals, ceremonies, laws, etc
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper