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 Devotees come to the weeklong observance at Sorte Mountain seeking spiritual connection and physical healing. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Venezuelans seek strength, healing from mythical goddess," 14 Oct. 2019 The American Legion has called for a return to a more serious observance of Memorial Day. Brian Clark Howard And Sydney Combs, National Geographic, "Memorial Day's controversial history explained," 24 May 2019 Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar and observance of this holy month is one of the five pillars of Islam. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "Dearborn Muslims kick off Ramadan lights contest to keep festive spirit alive amid pandemic," 4 May 2020 The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins tonight and would normally involve a late-night community reading of the Quran, but many traditional observances will be set aside this year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has swept the globe. al, "Ramadan begins tonight, but Muslims skip community gatherings," 23 Apr. 2020 This year, however, as global deaths from the coronavirus pandemic exceeded 100,000, Holy Week observances around the world are unlike any other in history. WSJ, "During Coronavirus Lockdown, Spain’s Faithful Stream Holy Week Services," 11 Apr. 2020 Send your photos and observances to kremington@cleveland.com. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, "Who’s wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic? How have CDC recommendations changed behavior?," 7 Apr. 2020 Marian Turski was one of the keynote speakers during observances held Monday to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Washington Post, "Auschwitz survivor inspires many, but others find fault," 29 Jan. 2020 International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945, and this year’s observance will be noteworthy for marking the 75th anniversary of that event. Time, "A Surprisingly Large Percentage of Young French People Don't Know About the Holocaust, Study Finds," 22 Jan. 2020

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

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Observance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/observance. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for observance


How to pronounce observance (audio)

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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