ob·​serv·​able | \ əb-ˈzər-və-bəl How to pronounce observable (audio) \

Definition of observable

2 : capable of being observed : discernible

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Other Words from observable

observability \ əb-​ˌzər-​və-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce observability (audio) \ noun
observable noun
observably \ əb-​ˈzər-​və-​blē How to pronounce observably (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for observable


apparent, seeable, visible, visual


invisible, sightless, viewless

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Examples of observable in a Sentence

the size of the observable universe scientists often work with phenomena that are not directly observable

Recent Examples on the Web

The strong overnight ratings back up what was observable on Sunday: Widespread enthusiasm for the US women's national team. Brian Stelter, CNN, "US viewers tuned into women's World Cup final in record numbers," 8 July 2019 The new policy says all one-to-one interactions should be ‘‘observable and interruptible,’’ including massages, icing and taping, stretching and any other physical contact. BostonGlobe.com, "Flyers give Kevin Hayes a seven-year, $50 million deal," 19 June 2019 In my opinion, this trend is more readily observable at Sotheby’s. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Museum Happenings: Protesters Stage a Die-In in NYC, and Students Accuse Staff of Racism in Boston," 25 June 2019 One 2016 study estimated that the observable universe contains two trillion—or two million million—galaxies. National Geographic, "https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/universe/galaxies.html," 17 Apr. 2019 By that point, universal expansion will put almost everything besides our local cluster of universes outside of what is observable to us anyway. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "What Will Happen in the Next 100 Trillion Years?," 12 Aug. 2017 Trump is pushing a narrative on this meeting largely spun out of one right-wing commentator’s theory, one that bears very little relation to observable reality. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "“Spygate,” the false allegation that the FBI had a spy in the Trump campaign, explained," 25 May 2018 Also, the symptoms of homocystinuria related to an MTHFR mutation are generally observable (e.g. seizures, neurological issues). Tara C. Smith, SELF, "Why You Don't Actually Need to Test for MTHFR Gene Variants," 18 Mar. 2019 Even without such interactions with ordinary matter, dark matter's self-interactions might have observable consequences. Lisa Randall, Scientific American, "What Is Dark Matter?," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'observable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of observable

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for observable

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for observable

The first known use of observable was in 1589

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More Definitions for observable



English Language Learners Definition of observable

: possible to see or notice : able to be observed


ob·​serv·​able | \ əb-ˈzər-və-bəl How to pronounce observable (audio) \

Kids Definition of observable

: noticeable Her cat's shape was observable under the blanket.

Other Words from observable

observably \ -​blē \ adverb

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Comments on observable

What made you want to look up observable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

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