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 2) 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from observation

Noun

observational \ ˌäb-​sər-​ˈvā-​shnəl How to pronounce observation (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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Help with daily observation and screening for COVID-19-like illnesses among shelter residents may also be required of some volunteers, according to the release. Chris Mayhew, The Enquirer, 30 Aug. 2021 The findings from the Wuhan patients also tracked with the widespread observation that persistent post-COVID infection symptoms are more common in women than in men. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2021 The researchers began with the observation that within groups of cells, chemical ratios vary with striking regularity. Natalie Elliot, Scientific American, 16 July 2021 Election integrity activists had asked U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee to prohibit the state from enforcing sections of the new law that have to do with observation of elections, as well as a new deadline for requesting absentee ballots. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 8 July 2021 Election integrity activists had asked U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee to prohibit the state from enforcing sections of the new law that have to do with observation of elections, as well as a new deadline for requesting absentee ballots. Kate Brumback, Star Tribune, 7 July 2021 This jibes well with Hord's observation that spinach contains plenty of vitamin K, which helps lower blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Gregory Mcnamee, CNN, 1 July 2021 Tycho Van der Hoog begins with the pithy observation by American singer-songwriter Frank Zappa to the effect that every nation worth its salt needs an airline and its own beer. Paul Nugent, Quartz, 13 Mar. 2021 The Giants will check with fans to see how their experience is at the current capacity, with informal surveys along with in-park observation about how the seating works. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Other pre-observation activities and further tests are set to be conducted this week. Julia Musto, Fox News, 17 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best baby monitor of 2021.

Learn More About observation

Time Traveler for observation

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near observation

observant

observation

observationalism

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for observation

Last Updated

7 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Observation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/observation. Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on observation

Nglish: Translation of observation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of observation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about observation

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!