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 Those statistics are based on official observations at Denver International Airport. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "This is Denver’s snowiest Thanksgiving since 1979," 28 Nov. 2019 Science papers based on Chandra observations number more than 8,000, and our user community numbers more than 4,000 scientists worldwide. Belinda J. Wilkes, Scientific American, "The Universe through X-ray Eyes," 26 Nov. 2019 Previous scientific knowledge on the Southern Ocean based primarily on observations made from ships that avoided extreme winter weather conditions in the region assumed that the Antarctic was a huge carbon sink. Stav Dimitropoulos, Popular Mechanics, "The New Ocean Explorers," 19 Nov. 2019 So, here are the notes and observations with context to better understand Alabama's ninth win of the season. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Extra observations, some context to key moments in Alabama win at Mississippi State," 18 Nov. 2019 Its price-to-earnings ratio has averaged — wait for it — 227 times since 2002, based on monthly observations. Washington Post, "Stock Investors Could Use a Refresher on the Basics," 14 Nov. 2019 Mike Birbiglia‘s stand-up specials — or one-man shows, as they’re often accurately called — are marked by staggering emotional honesty, heartfelt delivery, and hilariously spot-on observations. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Mike Birbiglia's The New One is coming to Netflix — watch the trailer," 13 Nov. 2019 The paper is based on 40 million observations of Uber tipping behavior, collected from four weeks of UberX rides in the summer of 2017, just after Uber rolled out in-app tipping. Wired, "Your Secret Uber Tipping Behavior, Exposed," 25 Oct. 2019 Based on those observations, groundfish trawlers in the Central Gulf caught nearly 4.7 million pounds of sablefish as bycatch, more than double their 2.3 million pound allotment. Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska fishermen push for changes to how managers deal with bycatch," 8 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for observation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for observation

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Observation.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/observational. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for observation

observation

noun
How to pronounce observation (audio)

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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