observe Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Definition of “observe” - English Dictionary

"observe" in American English

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observeverb

 us   /əbˈzɜrv/
  • observe verb (WATCH)

[T] to ​watch something or someone ​carefully: She ​spent her ​career observing ​animalbehavior. [+ question word] On ​theirfieldtrip, the ​students observed how a ​newspaper was put together.
  • observe verb (NOTICE)

[T] to ​notice something or someone: [T] Jack observed a ​look of ​panic on his brother’s ​face.
  • observe verb (EXAMINE)

science [T] to ​study and ​recordinformation about a ​scientificevent
  • observe verb (REMARK)

[I] to ​remark about something: "It’s raining again," he observed.
  • observe verb (OBEY)

[T] to ​obey a ​law or ​rule, or ​celebrate a ​holiday or ​religiousevent in a ​traditional way: You must observe the ​law.
(Definition of observe from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"observe" in British English

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observeverb [T]

uk   /əbˈzɜːv/  us   /-ˈzɝːv/
  • observe verb [T] (WATCH)

B2 formal to ​watchcarefully 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 howdeforestation is ​affectinglocaltribes. Children ​learn by observing ​adults.

expend iconexpend iconMore 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 ​guardsfailed to observe who ​delivered the ​package. [+ that] In all these ​films one observes thatdirectors are taking a new ​interest in Native American ​culture. [+ infinitive without to] A ​teacher observed her ​climb over the ​gate.

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  • observe verb [T] (SAY)

formal to make a ​remark about something: [+ speech] "I've always ​foundGermancars 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 ​oldpeople in the ​village still observe the ​localtraditions. 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)
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