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

Here are three observations about Cincinnati's recent form and other relevant factors that could impact the match: • Can FC Cincinnati continue progressing defensively? Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati versus DC United: 3 keys and prediction," 16 July 2019 Perhaps the most important observation in the book is the most obvious: Children are live human beings, and the abstract knowledge our colleges impart vanishes into thin air when confronted with them. Titus Techera, National Review, "A Teacher Confronts Reality," 26 June 2019 But Paniagua said he's repeatedly warned about overcrowding at holding facilities and that his office's observations could be substantially different from what lawyers saw last week. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Migrant children at Texas border facility haven't been allowed to contact families, Guatemalan diplomat says," 26 June 2019 New, unwrinkled aluminum foil can be used, but because the images are fuzzier, the observations will not be as clear. Scientific American, "Distorted Images," 6 June 2019 The new observation is only the third published paper on cannibalism among gray seals. Bethany Augliere, National Geographic, "Cannibalism is more common than thought in gray seals," 24 Apr. 2019 To make this observation is not to say that their causes are in any way equivalent—far from it. Fred Turner, Harper's magazine, "Machine Politics," 10 Jan. 2019 How much of each to add will vary with their composition and particle size; let observation and experience be your guides. Lee Reich, The Seattle Times, "Fall is the perfect time to build a compost bin," 16 Oct. 2018 One significant observation was the return of sheep to Rattlesnake Spring, an extremely remote location in the Santa Rosa Mountains. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Anza Borrego sheep count is for the extreme," 7 July 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

19 Jul 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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