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.
  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.

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

Antonyms for observant

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

Examples from the Web for observantly

Historical Examples of observantly

  • From its beginning to its close he has regarded it observantly.

  • He questioned you so gently, yet with such an air of right; he listened so observantly and sympathetically.

    Mercy Philbrick's Choice

    Helen Hunt Jackson

  • As he approached, Coats eyed Baird quite as gravely and observantly as Edward had done.

    Nobody's Child

    Elizabeth Dejeans

  • Jean-Marie, I trust you are observantly following my various steps; this is an excellent piece of education for you.

  • The slim, girlish figure blocked their way; the great dark eyes were fixed upon them observantly.

British Dictionary definitions for observantly


  1. paying close attention to detail; watchful or heedful
  2. 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 observantly



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