Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “observe”

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.

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.

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

from the word go

from the start of something

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More