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observe - definition and synonyms

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verb [transitive]     observe pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleobserving
past tenseobserved
past participleobserved
Related words
  1. 1
    formal to notice someone doing something, or to notice something happening
    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
      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

    Rebel forces say they will no longer observe the peace agreement.

  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.

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