ob·​ser·​vance | \ əb-ˈzər-vən(t)s How to pronounce observance (audio) \

Definition of observance

1a : a customary practice, rite, or ceremony Sabbath observances
b : a rule governing members of a religious order
2 : an act or instance of following a custom, rule, or law observance of the speed limits
3 : an act or instance of watching

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Examples of observance in a Sentence

the observance of this family tradition would make your grandmother very happy observance of the smoking ban in public buildings
Recent Examples on the Web Israel's Health Ministry told Reuters 32 of the dead had been identified so far by late Friday, but Haiat said observance of the Jewish Sabbath, a day of rest, had paused this process until after sunset Saturday evening. NBC News, "Israel stampede: At least 4 U.S. citizens among those dead at religious festival," 1 May 2021 National Volunteer Week is an annual observance recognizing volunteers providing vital support in their communities. Lauren Lee, CNN, "How to celebrate National Volunteer Week," 16 Apr. 2021 Adopting distinctive dietary restrictions was a common form of spiritual observance long before American progressives declared war on gluten and animal products. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "All One Thing or All the Other," 2 Apr. 2021 The Senior Center will be closed on Friday, April 2, in observance of Good Friday. courant.com, "Community news for the Enfield edition," 2 Apr. 2021 The rule allowed a state to exempt itself, or parts of the state that lie within a different time zone, from DST observance. Lucas Manfredi, Fox News, "What is Daylight Saving Time and why does most of Arizona not observe it?," 12 Mar. 2021 These service centers are strategically positioned to provide coverage to every area and offer 24/7 observance. Better Homes & Gardens, "ADT Home Security Review (2021)," 23 Feb. 2021 Now Schoen joins a list of prominent Jews who have run into issues in Washington over observance of the Sabbath. Maggie Haberman, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump lawyer asks to pause impeachment trial if it runs into Sabbath," 6 Feb. 2021 New numbers: The Ohio Department of Health reported 2,918 new coronavirus cases for Monday and Sunday, when officials were off in observance of Easter, Hancock reports. cleveland, "New Ohio health order lifts limits on outdoor gatherings: Capitol Letter," 6 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'observance.' 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 observance

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for observance

Time Traveler

The first known use of observance was in the 13th century

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Statistics for observance

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Observance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/observance. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for observance



English Language Learners Definition of observance

: the practice of following a custom, rule, law, etc.
: an act that is part of a ceremony or ritual


ob·​ser·​vance | \ əb-ˈzər-vəns How to pronounce observance (audio) \

Kids Definition of observance

1 : an established practice or ceremony religious observances
2 : an act of following a custom, rule, or law Careful observance of the speed limit is a wise idea.

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