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

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 West Hartford’s Department of Public Works will hold its 9th annual open house on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 17 Brixton St., in observance of National Public Works Week. Hartford Courant, 12 May 2022 Both officers who discharged their weapons were placed on administrative leave in observance of department protocol. Brock Blasdell, The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2022 Banks, post offices and other government run businesses will be closed in observance of America’s birthday. Cameron Jenkins, Good Housekeeping, 6 May 2022 Council voted to reschedule its regular meeting of June 20 to 7:30 p.m. June 21, in observance of the federal holiday of Juneteenth. cleveland, 2 May 2022 Thursday May 5 outdoors at City Hall in observance of the annual National Day of Prayer. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 State agencies are closed Monday, April 25 in observance of Confederate Memorial Day. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 25 Apr. 2022 Scott said retail employees working on the Sunday will now receive time-and-a-half holiday pay on May 8th, while the company’s home office and distribution center will remain closed on the following Monday in observance. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 19 Apr. 2022 The markets are closed on Friday in observance of Good Friday. CBS News, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of observance

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

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

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Observance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/observance. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for observance


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on observance

Nglish: Translation of observance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of observance for Arabic Speakers


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