observe definition, meaning - what is observe in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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

force

physical, especially violent, strength, or power

Word of the Day

They sometimes go here and they never go there: using adverbs of frequency

by Liz Walter,
April 29, 2015
Sometimes, always, often, never: these are some of the most common words in English.  Unfortunately, they are also some of the words that cause the most problems for students. Many of my students put them in the wrong place, often because that’s where they go in their own languages. They say things

Read More 

e-juice noun

April 27, 2015
the liquid content in an e-cigarette, which includes nicotine and may be flavoured in various ways Contestants…suck on a modified vaper until they’ve filled their chest cavity with enough vaporised nicotine “e-juice” to shoot out a belch of white smoke upwards of 4ft long.

Read More