[ uhb-zur-vuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
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noun,plural ob·serv·a·to·ries.
  1. a place or building equipped and used for making observations of astronomical, meteorological, or other natural phenomena, especially a place equipped with a powerful telescope for observing the planets and stars.

  2. an institution that controls or carries on the work of such a place.

  1. a place or structure that provides an extensive view; lookout.

Origin of observatory

1670–80; <Latin observā(re) to observe + -tory2

Words Nearby observatory

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

How to use observatory in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for observatory


/ (əbˈzɜːvətərɪ, -trɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. an institution or building specially designed and equipped for observing meteorological and astronomical phenomena

  2. any building or structure providing an extensive view of its surroundings

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