View synonyms for observation


[ ob-zur-vey-shuhn ]


  1. an act or instance of noticing or perceiving.
  2. an act or instance of regarding attentively or watching.
  3. the faculty or habit of observing or noticing.

    Synonyms: attention

  4. notice:

    to escape a person's observation.

  5. 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.

  6. the information or record secured by such an act.
  7. something that is learned in the course of observing things:

    My observation is that such clouds mean a storm.

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

    Synonyms: opinion, pronouncement

  9. the condition of being observed.
  10. Navigation.
    1. the measurement of the altitude or azimuth of a heavenly body for navigational purposes.
    2. the information obtained by such a measurement.
  11. Obsolete. observance, as of the law.


/ ˌɒbzəˈveɪʃən /


  1. the act of observing or the state of being observed
  2. a comment or remark
  3. detailed examination of phenomena prior to analysis, diagnosis, or interpretation

    the patient was under observation

  4. the facts learned from observing
  5. an obsolete word for observance
  6. nautical
    1. a sight taken with an instrument to determine the position of an observer relative to that of a given heavenly body
    2. the data so taken

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Derived Forms

  • ˌobserˈvational, adjective
  • ˌobserˈvationally, adverb

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Other Words From

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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of observation1

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”; observe ) + -iō -ion

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Synonym Study

See remark.

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Example Sentences

Decision science expert Annie Duke and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman suggest this may be because data-native individuals are adept at assembling disparate observations and facts into a credible narrative.

From Fortune

Averill on the July 23 Zoom call echoed Pridgen’s observations about the pandemic’s impact.

Substantiating a record involves an international committee of atmospheric scientists poring over the original observations, the equipment used to make it and the calibration practices.

Those observations revealed prominent dips in particular wavelengths of ultraviolet sunlight that had been absorbed by the ozone, Youngblood, Arney and colleagues report online August 6 in the Astronomical Journal.

While he says their observations suggest some thin gaiters might be problematic, “the press coverage has careened out of control” for a study testing a measuring technique and that looked at just one mask of each type.

Barack Obama was not the first Liberal to make this observation.

Now, a new observation seems to show that black holes also behave according to their place in the cosmic web.

In Alabama, an arrested 19-year-old shoplifter got gangrene and died naked on the floor of a “medical observation cell.”

Third, the virus could not be found in sputum, further supporting the clear observation that airborne spread does not occur.

Scientific observation, rather than being a place of respite from fear, itself has become something else to rail against.

With Bacon, experientia does not always mean observation; and may mean either experience or experiment.

A delightful instance of this fell under my own observation, as I was walking on Hampstead Heath.

He, therefore, did as he said; made no further observation, but conducted himself to his young friend with grave distance.

Impersonation may be more easily achieved intellectually, requiring only keen observation and the power of imitation.

But the observation he thoughtlessly uttered in French seemed to excite the peasant's attention.