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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web To a casual observer, the supermoon may appear similar in size to other moons. Rachel Fadem And Ashley Strickland, CNN, 13 June 2022 These were brute facts evident to the most casual observer, but Anna made no mention of them, only saying late in the otherwise breezy conversation that Nicky’s doctors had placed him on the spectrum. Joshua Ferris, The New Yorker, 30 May 2022 Her research revealed the details of what, to a casual observer, might seem a homogeneous slice of the long-ago. New York Times, 22 May 2022 To a casual observer, there's little that marks the F-150 Lightning as being anything other than just another F-150 with a super crew cab and a 5.5-foot bed. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 12 May 2022 To the casual observer, then, Friday's news that MLB suspended him for two full seasons – which could keep him out of the league until 2024 – was startling. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 30 Apr. 2022 Milchick is a man who is wicked smart, agile, an observer. Jennifer Maas, Variety, 4 June 2022 By being an observer, this helps let your children learn first-hand about compromise and consider different perspectives. Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 6 Apr. 2022 Simmons doesn't pretend to be an impartial observer, particularly in those more recent sequences. Brian Lowry, CNN, 16 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of observer

circa 1550, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About observer

Time Traveler for observer

Time Traveler

The first known use of observer was circa 1550

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near observer



observe the social amenities

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for observer

Last Updated

1 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Observer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on observer

Nglish: Translation of observer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of observer for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!