ob·​serv·​able | \əb-ˈzər-və-bəl \

Definition of observable 

2 : capable of being observed : discernible

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from observable

observability \ əb-​ˌzər-​və-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
observable noun
observably \ əb-​ˈzər-​və-​blē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for observable


apparent, seeable, visible, visual


invisible, sightless, viewless

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

But in quieter, sometimes less observable ways, the carnage mounts in racial injustice and discrimination. Thabiti Anyabwile, Washington Post, "Overturning Roe v. Wade isn’t worth compromising with Trump, my fellow evangelicals," 28 June 2018 There were also, however, observable patterns in the data that might help refine the process of classification. The Economist, "A big collaboration is trying to understand diseases of the psyche," 28 June 2018 Researchers are almost always forced to rely on what people remember about their dreams, rather than directly observable data. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Do You Dream in Internet? Don’t Freak Out," 23 June 2018 The airplane is very much built to go into combat and be low-observable. William Langewiesche, The Atlantic, "An Extraordinarily Expensive Way to Fight ISIS," 21 June 2018 This is the picture that our observable universe is not all that exists, but rather [is] one pocket of infinitely many universes, forming a multiverse. Alexander Hellemans, Scientific American, "A Conversation with Thomas Hertog, One of Stephen Hawking’s Final Collaborators," 24 May 2018 This has contributed to South Dakota’s observable tax collection windfall. Chris Cox, WSJ, "Sales Tax Revenue Isn’t Collapsing," 19 Apr. 2018 Or does science instead aim to save the observable phenomena without necessarily having to tell us a true story, as some antirealists would contend instead? Philip Ball, WIRED, "Questioning Truth, Reality, and the Role of Scientific Progress," 2 June 2018 Beyond that, there’s no observable increase in happiness with higher income. Adam Sternbergh, The Cut, "Read This Story and Get Happier," 28 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.

See More

First Known Use of observable

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about observable

Share observable

Statistics for observable

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for observable

The first known use of observable was in 1589

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of observable

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

Other Words from observable

observably \ -​blē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!