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

Some observers saw Honcharuk as a creature of oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who owns the television station that aired the sitcom that made Zelenskiy a star. Washington Post, "Ukraine’s new parliament approves top Cabinet officials," 1 Sep. 2019 For that reason, some observers had been hoping for two debate nights with five or six candidates apiece. Maggie Astor,, "The September Democratic debate will be one night only," 29 Aug. 2019 For that reason, some observers had been hoping for two debate nights with five or six candidates apiece. Maggie Astor, New York Times, "The September Democratic Debate Will Be One Night Only," 29 Aug. 2019 Then there’s Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, who in the eyes of some scolding observers can do no right. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "The Royal Family Gets Drawn Deeper Into the Brexit Maelstrom," 14 Aug. 2019 Multinational companies, expatriate workers and wealthy individuals looking to stash their assets somewhere safer than Hong Kong will flee for Asia’s next best thing, the thinking goes among some observers. Los Angeles Times, "Singapore prefers its Speakers’ Corner to the Hong Kong protests, thank you," 14 Aug. 2019 Some observers give Brookshire, who was No. 2 on the depth chart out of spring camp, and Baker the edge. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs’ first fall scrimmage will begin to answer some questions," 9 Aug. 2019 Bourne’s production would lead some observers to think his position on the roster would be secure in 2019., "Former Oregon prep star Kendrick Bourne making his case for a roster spot during the San Francisco 49ers’ training camp," 6 Aug. 2019 That’s why some observers believe there won’t be much left for creditors once the bankruptcy case is resolved. David Lyons,, "iPic theater chain files for bankruptcy protection and seeks buyer," 5 Aug. 2019

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

3 Sep 2019

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

Comments on observer

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