ob·​serv·​er | \ əb-ˈzər-vər How to pronounce observer (audio) \

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 Violence and trauma soak the story, but Smith never quite settles on making Nick either an active participant in the drama or a passive observer. Mark Athitakis, Los Angeles Times, "Review: The ‘Great Gatsby’ copyright bonanza stumbles out of the gate with ‘Nick’," 4 Jan. 2021 The latter of the two is difficult to obtain since getting information from inside a storm is dangerous for any human observer, but the NOAA has a number of projects in the pipeline to help get a better read on the phenomenon. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Hurricane Facts: Which storm saw a record 75 mph power jump in 24 hours?," 21 Dec. 2020 However, to anyone who is more than a casual observer, there have been noticeably fewer hare tracks than there were in the last couple of seasons. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska’s hard-core predators don’t have it as easy as you may think," 20 Dec. 2020 No serious observer is worried about Gen. Austin seizing power and threatening civilian control of the military. Mike Gallagher, WSJ, "No More Generals Atop the Pentagon," 20 Dec. 2020 Joshua Claybourn is an attorney and close observer of local politics from Indiana. Jeremy Lott, Washington Examiner, "Despite lack of experience, Buttigieg gets nominated for secretary of transportation," 17 Dec. 2020 In another significant move, Armstrong announced that current board observer Marc Andreessen will be taking on the role of full board member. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Coinbase adds Cisco vet to board ahead of rumored IPO," 16 Dec. 2020 By contrast, comet observer Gary W. Kronk documented sightings of the Perseids in Chinese annals dating to AD 36, according to the American Meteor Society. al, "Geminid meteor shower 2020: Where to watch," 13 Dec. 2020 Brave observer Darnella Frazier, then 17, held up a phone camera so a sickening and infuriating video record of Floyd’s death was preserved. Lynn Elber And David Bauder,, "2020 indelible TV moments: Trebek, debate bluster and Floyd," 7 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for observer

Time Traveler

The first known use of observer was circa 1550

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Statistics for observer

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Observer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce observer (audio)

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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