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

Of course, figure sculpture if nothing else is a unique and valuable way of observation. Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, "Tylden W. Streett, sculptor, Maryland Institute College of Art teacher, musician, and World War II veteran, dies," 25 June 2019 But the Trace Gas Orbiter, a newer European spacecraft launched in 2016 with more sensitive instruments, did not detect any methane at all in its first batch of scientific observations last year. Kenneth Chang, BostonGlobe.com, "NASA rover on Mars detects puff of gas that hints at possibility of life," 22 June 2019 But the Trace Gas Orbiter, a newer European spacecraft launched in 2016 with more sensitive instruments, did not detect any methane at all in its first batch of scientific observations last year. New York Times, "NASA Rover on Mars Detects Puff of Gas That Hints at Possibility of Life," 22 June 2019 And in its eccentric, concentrated package is a wealth of broader observations—on Latin American culture, on identity, on friendship. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Unique, Comic Alchemy of Los Espookys," 21 June 2019 Group effort For Wittemyer, the fact that other members of the pod interacted with the corpse is the most interesting part of Inman’s observation. National Geographic, "Mother hippo may be grieving dead baby in new video," 19 June 2019 Most of those pitch-perfect observations grew out of Torres and co.'s personality and comedic style more so than any encyclopedic research of B-movie history. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "HBO’s Los Espookys will make you want to be a horror technician, too," 14 June 2019 And of course, that kind of observation is exactly the point. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "What actually happens in bias training seminars?," 11 June 2019 Some of Miley’s observations ended up when the aunt is giving her presentation. James Hibberd, EW.com, "Black Mirror producers on that Miley Cyrus episode and a creepy pop star trend," 5 June 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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Statistics for observation

Last Updated

5 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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