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

Industry observers considered his sudden departure to fit into a succession of corporate resignations sparked by the #MeToo movement against impropriety in the workplace. The Economist, "Despite falling foul of the #MeToo movement, Lululemon is soaring," 12 July 2018 For years, political observers have been surprised by the unexpected moves of U.S. Supreme Court justices. Christopher Keating,, "What Would Overturning Roe V. Wade Mean For Abortion Access In Connecticut?," 11 July 2018 So voters appear ready to give her a shot at improving the city — however, most political observers agree, that window could close very quickly. Matier & Ross,, "London Breed stepping in as mayor of an unsettled city," 11 July 2018 Many observers say the successful confirmation of Kavanaugh would ensure that the Supreme Court would become even more conservative and could affect Americans’ constitutional rights for a generation. Mackenzie Long, Teen Vogue, "Brett Kavanaugh Announced as President Trump's Supreme Court Nominee," 10 July 2018 But some observers say the proceeding has come far too late to preserve the independence of the courts in the 29-year-old democracy. Monika Scislowska,, "Poland’s chief justice plans to disregard retirement order," 4 July 2018 Off the back of recent provincial elections, and ahead of presidential elections next year, observers say the issue is being used to score political points. Suyin Haynes, Time, "Indonesia's Crackdown on LGBT Rights is Fueling an HIV Epidemic, Rights Group Warns," 2 July 2018 But outside observers say Jealous’ candidacy and Maryland Democrats can’t ignore the existing divide. Erin Cox,, "Will Ben Jealous pull Maryland Democrats together or apart?," 29 June 2018 Such factories typically are much smaller and less-expensive than the sort of plant Foxconn originally planned, industry observers say. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Foxconn scales back plans for its first factory in Mount Pleasant," 28 June 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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Phrases Related to observer

casual observer

Statistics for observer

Last Updated

15 Oct 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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Comments on observer

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