[ uhb-zurv ]
/ əbˈzɜrv /

verb (used with object), ob·served, ob·serv·ing.

verb (used without object), ob·served, ob·serv·ing.

Origin of observe

1350–1400; Middle English observen < Middle French observer < Latin observāre to watch, regard, attend to, equivalent to ob- ob- + servāre to keep, save, pay heed to


2 note. Observe, witness imply paying strict attention to what one sees or perceives. Both are “continuative” in action. To observe is to mark or be attentive to something seen, heard, etc.; to consider carefully; to watch steadily: to observe the behavior of birds, a person's pronunciation. To witness, formerly to be present when something was happening, has added the idea of having observed with sufficient care to be able to give an account as evidence: to witness an accident.
4 mention, say.
6 follow, fulfill.
7 celebrate, keep.


1–3, 6–8 ignore.


Example sentences from the Web for observe

British Dictionary definitions for observe

/ (əbˈzɜːv) /


(tr; may take a clause as object) to see; perceive; notice we have observed that you steal
(when tr, may take a clause as object) to watch (something) carefully; pay attention to (something)
to make observations of (something), esp scientific ones
(when intr, usually foll by on or upon; when tr, may take a clause as object) to make a comment or remark the speaker observed that times had changed
(tr) to abide by, keep, or follow (a custom, tradition, law, holiday, etc)

Derived forms of observe

observable, adjective observableness or observability, noun observably, adverb

Word Origin for observe

C14: via Old French from Latin observāre, from ob- to + servāre to watch