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

make believe

believing or imagining things that appear to be attractive or exciting, but are not real

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More