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ob·​ser·​vant əb-ˈzər-vənt How to pronounce observant (audio)
: paying strict attention : watchful
an observant spectator
: keen, perceptive
observant of the mistakes of others
Good reporters are keenly observant of everything around them.
: careful in observing rites, laws, or customs : mindful
pious and religiously observant familiesSidney Hook
always observant of the amenities
observantly adverb


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: an assiduous or obsequious servant or attendant

Examples of observant in a Sentence

Adjective A particularly observant child, he noticed even the slightest changes in the classroom. Good reporters are keenly observant of everything around them. The family is strictly observant.
Recent Examples on the Web
The statist project was avowedly secular—the endgame was the construction of a new Hebrew culture to supplant Judaism as a religion—and observant communities generally wanted no part of it. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 15 Feb. 2024 The new one retains his debut’s easygoing preciousness: the deadpan sense of humor, a coolly observant interest in the divide between city and country, and the sighs Dorji wants to elicit from the Himalayan landscape. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2024 And observant Jews who practice and love their religion. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 9 Feb. 2024 Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, a longtime spiritual counselor at America’s largest yeshiva who spearheaded a crusade to warn observant Jews of the risks posed by the internet, died on Jan. 2 in Lakewood, N.J. Joseph Berger, New York Times, 7 Feb. 2024 The department said that the dumpster had compacted the garbage four times when the woman was stuck inside. NEW HAMPSHIRE WEDDING SHOOTER GETS 40 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON The observant driver glanced at the camera that was located inside the truck, and noticed the woman desperately calling for help. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 31 Jan. 2024 Like an investigator, a good gardener must be keenly observant. Barbara Spindel, WSJ, 22 Dec. 2023 For years the question of women serving at the front pitted ultraconservative rabbis and religiously observant soldiers against feminists, secularists and critics of the country’s traditionally macho culture. Isabel Kershner Avishag Shaar-Yashuv, New York Times, 19 Jan. 2024 The Epiphany on January 6, is when many religiously observant Christians choose to take down their Christmas tree. Anne Marie Lee, CBS News, 28 Dec. 2023
Franklyn describes herself as creative, observant, and a daydreamer. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 11 Dec. 2023 Naturally grounded as earth signs, Virgos are sympathetic, focused and observant, and five of them have been named PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive: Mark Harmon, the late Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Keanu Reeves and Idris Elba. Zoey Lyttle, Peoplemag, 2 Nov. 2023 The Likud electorate has historically been the Mizrahi (Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent), the religiously observant, the noncollege-educated and the poor. Ruth Margalit, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2023 The characters in this collection are all witnesses, hesitant but perceptive, observant sometimes to the point of paralysis. Annie Berke, Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2023 During this time, the religiously-observant Hrangchal mixed his studies with work as an assembly worker at a factory, all the while keeping up his outdoor sports practice. Etgar Lefkovits, Sun Sentinel, 30 Mar. 2023 There’s the mockery of the religiously observant from great institutional heights. Noah Rothman, National Review, 29 Mar. 2023 The observant may spot a man and a dog standing beneath them on a railing. Joe Sills, Forbes, 8 Mar. 2023 Fridays are the days when the observant eat fish to honor the 40-day period of sacrifice and reflection leading up to Easter. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'observant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1605, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of observant was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near observant

Cite this Entry

“Observant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/observant. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: paying careful attention : watchful
: quick to observe : keen
: careful in observing : mindful
observantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on observant

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