observation

noun
ob·​ser·​va·​tion | \ ˌäb-sər-ˈvā-shən , -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 , -​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

One team of scientists tried to do a similar analysis for Florence, but outside experts were wary because it was based on forecasts, not observations, and did not use enough computer simulations. Seth Borenstein, Fox News, "Scientists: World's warming; expect more intense hurricanes," 15 Sep. 2018 There, after a 50-second elevator, visitors can experience the MahaNakhon Glass Tray, a transparent observation deck that cantilevers more than 1,000 feet in the air, undoubtedly serving up the best views of downtown Bangkok. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "‘Glass tray’ observation deck now open in Thailand’s tallest building," 11 Dec. 2018 Unico poured money into a renovation recently, including a redone observation deck that includes a new speakeasy. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Goldman Sachs buying Seattle’s historic Smith Tower," 23 Oct. 2018 Cavusoglu also said Turkey would need to dispatch more troops to patrol the area, along with Russia, while also retaining its 12 observation posts. Fox News, "The Latest: UN Syria envoy says Idlib deal 'very good news'," 18 Sep. 2018 The modern battlefield is blanketed with sensors—mobile ground radar, acoustic surveillance equipment at observation posts, satellite imagery, and camera feeds from drones—that can be used to help guide MLRS shots. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Puts More Pieces on Europe's WWIII Chessboard," 10 Sep. 2018 Climb 331 steps to an observation deck at the top of the monument, designated a National Historic Landmark, or an elevator will bring you 90 percent of the way. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 Kvitek, however, was one of the volunteers who hiked about four rugged miles in the summer heat to set up an observation post at Fourth Grove in Upper Palm Canyon. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Anza Borrego sheep count is for the extreme," 7 July 2018 Kim was later photographed at the top of the resort’s 57th-floor observation deck. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "Kim Jong Un went sightseeing in Singapore hours before Tuesday’s historic summit," 11 June 2018

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

15 Feb 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 , -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- \

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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