observation

noun
ob·​ser·​va·​tion | \ ˌäb-sər-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce observation (audio) , -zər-\

Definition of observation

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an act or instance of observing a custom, rule, or law observation of the dress code
b : observance sense 3 The characters in her novel are based on close observation of her family.
2a : an act of recognizing and noting a fact or occurrence often involving measurement with instruments weather observations
b : a record or description so obtained Scientific observations were sent to the committee.
3 : a judgment on or inference (see inference sense 1) from what one has observed broadly : remark, statement an insightful observation based his observations on his own research
4 obsolete : attentive care : heed
5 : the condition of one that is observed under observation at the hospital

observation

adjective

Definition of observation (Entry 2 of 2)

: designed for use in viewing something (such as scenery) or in making observations an observation tower the observation platform

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Other Words from observation

Noun

observational \ ˌäb-​sər-​ˈvā-​shnəl How to pronounce observational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , -​zər-​ \ adjective
observationally adverb

Examples of observation in a Sentence

Noun

I'm not criticizing that kind of clothing. I'm just making an observation about the style. Her constant observations about the weather bored me. These facts are based on close observation of the birds in the wild. Observations made using the telescope have led to new theories. Some interesting observations came from the study. He recorded his observations in a notebook.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In July 1947, Army officials said that the wreckage of a mysterious object found on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, were the remnants of a weather observation balloon, not an alien spacecraft. sandiegouniontribune.com, "July 9, 1947: Summer of flying saucers," 9 July 2018 She was then arrested at the monument’s observation point. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Woman Climbs Statue of Liberty to Protest Family Separations, Island Shut Down," 5 July 2018 The climber ascended from the observation point, Mr. Willis said. Jennifer Peltz And Jake Pearson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Protester climbs up Statue of Liberty in defense of border families," 5 July 2018 The climber made about a 25-foot ascent from the monument's observation point, National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis said. Jennifer Peltz And Jake Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "Statue of Liberty climber leads to evacuation; 6 arrested after hanging 'Abolish ICE' banner," 4 July 2018 His observations on fire went in some interesting and strange directions. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Reverend Michael Curry's sermon added a glowing moral dimension to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.," 19 May 2018 From that perspective, what are your observations about race in America and how did that get channeled into this architecture? Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Q&A with David Adjaye, designer of Smithsonian's African American museum," 13 May 2018 Satellite images released Tuesday by the European Union earth observation program Copernicus showed some 492 square kilometers underwater in Mozambique, and the Red Cross estimated that some 400,000 of Beira’s residents were now homeless. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Cyclone Shows Climate Change’s Deadly Impact on Poor Urbanizing Nations," 19 Mar. 2019 The incredible thing about this discovery is that Le Verrier was able not only to predict the existence of Neptune but also its exact location using nothing but math and observations of Uranus. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What We Know About Planet Nine," 9 Mar. 2019

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1862, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for observation

Noun and Adjective

Middle French, from Latin observation-, observatio, from observare

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Statistics for observation

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for observation

The first known use of observation was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for observation

observation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of observation

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a statement about something you have noticed : a comment or remark
: the act of careful watching and listening : the activity of paying close attention to someone or something in order to get information
: something you notice by watching and listening

observation

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of observation (Entry 2 of 2)

: designed to be used while watching people or things

observation

noun
ob·​ser·​va·​tion | \ ˌäb-sər-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce observation (audio) , -zər-\

Kids Definition of observation

1 : an act or the power of seeing or taking notice of something His detailed description shows great powers of observation.
2 : the gathering of information by noting facts or occurrences weather observations
3 : an opinion formed or expressed after watching or noticing It's not a criticism, just an observation.
4 : the fact of being watched and studied The patient was in the hospital for observation.

observation

noun
ob·​ser·​va·​tion | \ ˌäb-sər-ˈvā-shən, -zər- How to pronounce observation (audio) \

Medical Definition of observation

1 : the noting of a fact or occurrence (as in nature) often involving the measurement of some magnitude with suitable instruments temperature observations also : a record so obtained
2 : close watch or examination (as to monitor or diagnose a condition) postoperative observation psychiatric observation

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Comments on observation

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