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observe - definition and synonyms


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verb [transitive] observe pronunciation in British English /əbˈzɜː(r)v/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleobserving
past tenseobserved
past participleobserved
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  1. 1
    formal to notice someone doing something, or to notice something happening
    Similar trends may be observed in most modern societies.
    observe that: James had already observed that she was not listening.
    observe someone/something doing something: I observed him putting the watch into his pocket.
    1. a.
      to watch or study someone or something with care and attention in order to discover something
      All evening Jane observed his behaviour closely.
      observe someone/something doing something: We observed 120 women interacting with their babies and compared them with 120 men.
  2. 2
    to accept and obey something such as a rule or an agreement
    The proper procedures must be strictly observed.
    Rebel forces say they will no longer observe the peace agreement.
    1. a.
      to accept and perform the customs connected with a particular day, festival, or event
      Russians observed a day of mourning for the victims.
      a nationally observed holiday
  3. 3
    formal to make a written or spoken comment about someone or something
    ‘You always arrive at the right time,’ he observed drily.
    observe that: In his book he observes that the President was an able diplomat.



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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