[ ob-zur-vey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: observationobservations on Thesaurus.com

  1. an act or instance of noticing or perceiving.

  2. an act or instance of regarding attentively or watching.

  1. the faculty or habit of observing or noticing.

  2. notice: to escape a person's observation.

  3. an act or instance of viewing or noting a fact or occurrence for some scientific or other special purpose: the observation of blood pressure under stress.

  4. the information or record secured by such an act.

  5. something that is learned in the course of observing things: My observation is that such clouds mean a storm.

  6. a remark, comment, or statement based on what one has noticed or observed.

  7. the condition of being observed.

  8. Navigation.

    • the measurement of the altitude or azimuth of a heavenly body for navigational purposes.

    • the information obtained by such a measurement.

  9. Obsolete. observance, as of the law.

Origin of observation

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin observātiōn-, stem of observātiō “attention, inspection, surveillance,” from observāt(us) “watched” (past participle of observāre “to watch, regard, attend to”; see observe) + -iō -ion

synonym study For observation

8. See remark.

Other words for observation

Other words from observation

  • non·ob·ser·va·tion, noun
  • pre·ob·ser·va·tion, noun
  • re·ob·ser·va·tion, noun
  • self-ob·ser·va·tion, noun

Words that may be confused with observation

Words Nearby observation

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use observation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for observation


/ (ˌɒbzəˈveɪʃən) /

  1. the act of observing or the state of being observed

  2. a comment or remark

  1. detailed examination of phenomena prior to analysis, diagnosis, or interpretation: the patient was under observation

  2. the facts learned from observing

  3. an obsolete word for observance

  4. nautical

    • a sight taken with an instrument to determine the position of an observer relative to that of a given heavenly body

    • the data so taken

Derived forms of observation

  • observational, adjective
  • observationally, 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