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

In observance of Labor Day on Monday, here’s what will be closed in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. Mary Lou Cruz, sun-sentinel.com, "What’s open and what’s closed during the storm," 30 Aug. 2019 In observance of National Recovery Month, a festival to benefit Sober Truth Substance Abuse Treatment Program, will be held Saturday, September 14, noon to 4 p.m. at the Carroll County Agriculture Center, 704 Agricultural Center Drive, Westminster. Gabrielle Copeland Schoeffield, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "West Carroll: Recovery Festival set for Sept. 14; pet parade coming in October," 28 Aug. 2019 All Howard County government offices, the court system, libraries and more will be closed Thursday in observance of Independence Day. Jess Nocera, baltimoresun.com, "What's open, what's closed in Howard County for Fourth of July holiday," 2 July 2019 Jenna Watson/IndyStar Several offices and businesses will close their doors Thursday in observance of the Fourth of July. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what is open, closed for Fourth of July," 1 July 2019 Rina Shnerb belonged to an Orthodox Jewish outreach group known as a Garin Torani, which seeks to bolster the number of Jews devoted to religious observance. David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, "Bomb Kills Israeli Girl, 17, at a West Bank Oasis," 23 Aug. 2019 Closures for Fourth of July County of San Diego offices, libraries and animal services will be closed Thursday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Women’s club serves meal at Ronald McDonald House," 3 July 2019 Gameela is deeply conscious of her public and private observance of her faith. Kathryn Burak, BostonGlobe.com, "In ‘A Pure Heart,’ a family divided tries to put the pieces together," 7 Aug. 2019 Darrell Patterson, a Seventh-day Adventist, alleges that his employer, the Walgreens drugstore chain, failed to accommodate his Sabbath observance. Michael A. Helfand, WSJ, "A Day of Rest May Get a Day in Court," 21 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for observance

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for observance

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

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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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