From French observer, from Latin observare (“to watch, note, mark, heed, guard, keep, pay attention to, regard, comply with, etc.”), from ob (“before”) + servare (“to keep”), from Proto-Indo-European *serw- (“to guard”). Cognate with Gothic [script?] (sarwa, “weapons, armour”), Old English searu (“device, design, contrivance, art, cunning, craft, artifice, wile, deceit, stratagem, ambush, treachery, plot, trick, snare, ambuscade, cleverness, machine, engine, fabric, armor, equipment, arms”).
- (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.
- 1892, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb
- “One horse?” interjected Holmes. ¶ “Yes, only one.” ¶ “Did you observe the colour?”
2013 March 1, Frank Fish, George Lauder, “Not Just Going with the Flow”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 2, page 114:
- An extreme version of vorticity is a vortex. The vortex is a spinning, cyclonic mass of fluid, which can be observed in the rotation of water going down a drain, as well as in smoke rings, tornados and hurricanes.
- (transitive) To follow or obey the custom, practice, or rules (especially of a religion).
- Please observe all posted speed limits.
- Bible, Exodus
- Ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread.
2011 November 10, Jeremy Wilson, “England Under 21 5 Iceland Under 21 0: match report”, Telegraph:
- A sell-out crowd of 10,000 then observed perfectly a period of silence before the team revealed their black armbands, complete with stitched-in poppies, for the match. After Fifa’s about-turn, it must have been a frantic few days for the England kit manufacturer. The on-field challenge was altogether more straightforward.
- (intransitive) To comment on something; to make an observation.
- The senator observed that the bill would be detrimental to his constituents.
- (follow a custom): celebrate
- observe in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- observe in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- first-person singular present indicative of observer
- third-person singular present indicative of observer
- first-person singular present subjunctive of observer
- third-person singular present subjunctive of observer
- second-person singular imperative of observer
- first-person singular present subjunctive of observar
- third-person singular present subjunctive of observar
- first-person singular imperative of observar
- third-person singular imperative of observar
- Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of observar.
- First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of observar.
- Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of observar.
- Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of observar.