- to see, watch, perceive, or notice: He observed the passersby in the street.
- to regard with attention, especially so as to see or learn something: I want you to observe her reaction to the judge's question.
- to watch, view, or note for a scientific, official, or other special purpose: to observe an eclipse.
- to state by way of comment; remark: He observed frequently that clerks were not as courteous as they used to be.
- to keep or maintain in one's action, conduct, etc.: You must observe quiet.
- to obey, comply with, or conform to: to observe laws.
- to show regard for by some appropriate procedure, ceremony, etc.: to observe Palm Sunday.
- to perform duly or solemnize (ceremonies, rites, etc.).
- to note or inspect closely for an omen or sign of future events.
- to notice.
- to act as an observer.
- to remark or comment (usually followed by on or upon).
Origin of observe
SynonymsSee more synonyms for observe on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for observe
Photos: Fury at the Ferguson Decision I had yet to be born to observe the events of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965.Justice Was Served in Ferguson—This Isn’t Jim Crow America
November 25, 2014
Instead, astronomers hope to observe planet formation in all its stages, each marking a phase in star and planet birth.The Most Stunning View Ever of Planets Being Born
Matthew R. Francis
November 9, 2014
Some supporters keep pace, and others trail behind walking, there to observe Booker in the flesh more than for the cardio.The Ugly Truth About Cory Booker, New Jersey’s Golden Boy
October 20, 2014
Mitchell said the cameras give administrators the ability to observe teachers in action and offer them tips and coaching.At This Creepy Libertarian Charter School, Kids Must Swear ‘to Be Obedient to Those in Authority’
October 15, 2014
I begin to observe that it sounds as if Sully is in microcosm what Newman himself…but that is as far as I get.The Stacks: The Eyes of Winter: Paul Newman at 70
October 11, 2014
Milza was the first to observe that her absence was unusually protracted.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
He joyed to observe that these men of incredible millions had no hauteur.
I observe the workings of unemotional law and sometimes record them.
When you see them, you will observe how he endeavours to hold me to this correspondence.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
Do you observe this red glow,—dusky, too, amid all the brightness?Other Tales and Sketches
- (tr; may take a clause as object) to see; perceive; noticewe have observed that you steal
- (when tr, may take a clause as object) to watch (something) carefully; pay attention to (something)
- to make observations of (something), esp scientific ones
- (when intr, usually foll by on or upon; when tr, may take a clause as object) to make a comment or remarkthe speaker observed that times had changed
- (tr) to abide by, keep, or follow (a custom, tradition, law, holiday, etc)
Word Origin and History for observe
late 14c., "to hold to" (a manner of life or course of conduct), from Old French observer, osserver "to observe, watch over, follow" (10c.), from Latin observare "watch over, note, heed, look to, attend to, guard, regard, comply with," from ob "over" (see ob-) + servare "to watch, keep safe," from PIE root *ser- "to protect." Meaning "to attend to in practice, to keep, follow" is attested from late 14c. Sense of "watch, perceive, notice" is 1560s, via notion of "see and note omens." Meaning "to say by way of remark" is from c.1600. Related: Observed; observing.