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

Carefully communicating a turn has become even more important given recent market volatility and confusion among investors over an off-the-cuff observation Mr. Powell made in early October. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed Weighs Wait-and-See Approach on Future Rate Increases," 6 Dec. 2018 In more modern times, the CIA and others were trying to find Osama bin Laden and reported an observation of what looked like him. Angela Chen, The Verge, "A retired Navy captain explains how drones will shape the future of war," 5 Dec. 2018 Sung in English, the libretto has been peppered with modern-day bits of social commentary that reflect the spirit of the genre, an observation echoed by the composer’s daughter, Yvonne Kalman, who spoke with me at Sunday’s matinee. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Remembering Henry Butler, a New Orleans giant," 9 July 2018 That desire to teach and an observation that south suburban adults are looking for purposeful outings that bring people together led to the recent opening of Farmhouse Academy in Mokena. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "Cooking classes, camps and events offered for kids and adults at newly opened Farmhouse Academy in Mokena," 19 June 2018 So if a patient 65 or older comes in with complaints of memory issues, the physicians can run the test and then will have an objective medical observation to refer the patient for a dementia exam. Hanaa’ Tameez And Rodger Mallison, star-telegram, "Mexican-Americans show signs of Alzheimer's 10 years earlier than others, study says," 19 June 2018 Here are a few observations following McLaren’s two-day exploratory mission in Detroit. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: McLaren seems destined to be part of IndyCar's future — one way or another," 4 June 2018 In an observation blind at the end of one trail, Carlson pointed out nesting sandhill cranes amid the yellow-green sedges and grasses of the tidal flats. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Worries about wildlife prompt push for dog ban in South Anchorage estuary," 27 May 2018 Equally interesting are astute observations about how bilingual immigrants sometimes use English. Anita Felicelli, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘America Is Not the Heart,’ by Elaine Castillo," 25 May 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 Mar 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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