Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “observe”

See all translations

observe

verb [T] uk   /əbˈzɜːv/ us    /-ˈzɝːv/

observe verb [T] (WATCH)

B2 formal to watch carefully the way something happens or the way someone does something, especially in order to learn more about it: The role of scientists is to observe and describe the world, not to try to control it. [+ question word] He spent a year in the jungle, observing how deforestation is affecting local tribes. Children learn by observing adults.
More examples

observe verb [T] (NOTICE)

C1 formal to notice or see: Jack observed a look of anxiety on his brother's face. [+ question word] The guards failed to observe who delivered the package. [+ that] In all these films one observes that directors are taking a new interest in Native American culture. [+ infinitive without to] A teacher observed her climb over the gate.
More examples

observe verb [T] (SAY)

formal to make a remark about something: [+ speech] "I've always found German cars very reliable," he observed. [+ that] She observed that it would soon be time to stop for lunch.

observe verb [T] (OBEY)

C2 formal to obey a law, rule, or custom: People must observe the law. Nobody should be an exception. The old people in the village still observe the local traditions. Do you observe Passover?
observable
adjective uk   /-ˈzɜː.və.bl̩/ us    /-ˈzɝː.və.bl̩/
There's no observable connection between the two events.
observably
adverb uk   /-ˈzɜː.və.bli/ us    /-ˈzɝːː.və.bli/
(Definition of observe from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of observe?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “observe” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bad/hard/tough luck

said to express sympathy with someone when something bad has happened to them

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More