• (RP) IPA: /əbˈzɜːv/, /ɒbˈzɜːv/
  • (GA, Canada) enPR: əb-zûrvʹ, IPA: /əbˈzɝv/

observe (observes, present participle observing; past and past participle observed)

  1. (transitive) To notice or view, especially carefully or with attention to detail.
    From this vantage point we can observe the behavior of the animals in their natural habitat.
    She got up before dawn to observe the lunar eclipse.
    • 1892, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb
      “One horse?” interjected Holmes. ¶ “Yes, only one.” ¶ “Did you observe the colour?”
  2. (transitive) To follow or obey the custom, practice, or rules (especially of a religion).
    Please observe all posted speed limits.
  3. (transitive) To take note of and celebrate (a holiday or similar occurrence).
    • Bible, Book of Exodus
      Ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread.
  4. (intransitive) To comment on something; to make an observation.
    The senator observed that the bill would be detrimental to his constituents.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326 ↗:
      Elbows almost touching they leaned at ease, idly reading the almost obliterated lines engraved there. ¶ "I never understood it," she observed, lightly scornful. "What occult meaning has a sun-dial for the spooney? I'm sure I don't want to read riddles in a strange gentleman's optics."
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