ob·​serv·​er | \əb-ˈzər-vər \

Definition of observer 

: one that observes: such as

a : a representative sent to observe but not participate officially in an activity (such as a meeting or war)

b : an expert analyst and commentator in a particular field political observers

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Examples of observer in a Sentence

According to one observer, the event was poorly organized. The star is not visible to an observer without a telescope. According to one military observer, this change comes after years of planning. Observers say the economy is improving. The class has an observer today, so please be on your best behavior.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Many observers say Amazon’s headquarters, will — by default — be wherever Chief Executive Jeff Bezos and his top lieutenants spend the bulk of their time. Matt Day, The Seattle Times, "Amazon shifts its sights to the East Coast," 13 Nov. 2018 The observers noted few issues on election day but expressed concern over the harassment of the opposition that followed. Farai Mutsaka, Fox News, "Zimbabwe opposition rejects ruling and 'false' inauguration," 25 Aug. 2018 The federal government as soon as this month is expected to clarify some more specifics that observers predict will truly trigger a commotion in the world of high finance. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "The new hotness for tech billionaires? Do-gooder investments they can write off on their taxes.," 16 Oct. 2018 Much of it is myopic and small-brained, from sideline observers gleefully salivating at the opportunity to take him down a peg. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "In Defense of Elon Musk," 16 Oct. 2018 The war has largely taken place hidden from the public eye, with journalists, non-residents and outside observers barred from the area. Brian Rohan, Fox News, "Egypt arming Sinai tribesmen in fight against Islamic State," 27 Sep. 2018 Economics are the most important issue in the race, political observers note. Kelsey Brugger, Scientific American, "Alaska Wants to Fight Warming While Still Drilling for Oil," 12 July 2018 The teams worked quietly as observers from the Brochin and Olszewski campaigns stood over the tables, watching carefully. Pamela Wood,, "Recount under way in Baltimore County executive primary race," 12 July 2018 Eighteen months into Donald Trump’s presidency, the nature of his foreign policy continues to elude most observers. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "How Trump Plans to Change the World," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'observer.' 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 observer

circa 1550, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for observer

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for observer

The first known use of observer was circa 1550

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More Definitions for observer



English Language Learners Definition of observer

: a person who sees and notices someone or something

: a person who pays close attention to something and is considered to be an expert on that thing

: a person who is present at something (such as a meeting) in order to watch and listen to what happens

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More from Merriam-Webster on observer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with observer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for observer

Spanish Central: Translation of observer

Nglish: Translation of observer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of observer for Arabic Speakers

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