Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “observe”


verb [T] (OBEY)    /əbˈzɜːv/ US  /-ˈzɝːv/ formal
C2 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 ?Obeying and breaking the lawObedient and compliantDisobedientBad and wrong behaviourCustom, tradition and conformity
(Definition of observe verb (OBEY) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of observe

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Obeying & breaking the law, but you might be interested in these topics from the Law and the police topic area:

Definitions of “observe” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a good knowledge of something, or the fact that you know it so well

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More