What does observation mean?

Definitions for observation
ˌɒb zɜrˈveɪ ʃənob·ser·va·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word observation.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. observationnoun

    the act of making and recording a measurement

  2. observation, observance, watchingnoun

    the act of observing; taking a patient look

  3. observation, reflection, reflexionnoun

    a remark expressing careful consideration

  4. observationnoun

    facts learned by observing

    "he reported his observations to the mayor"

  5. notice, observation, observancenoun

    the act of noticing or paying attention

    "he escaped the notice of the police"


  1. observationnoun

    The act of observing, and the fact of being observed.

  2. observationnoun

    The act of noting and recording some event; or the record of such noting.

  3. observationnoun

    A remark or comment.

  4. observationnoun

    A judgement based on observing.

  5. Etymology: From observatio

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Observationnoun

    Etymology: observatio, from observo, Lat. observation, Fr.

    These cannot be infused by observation, because they are the rules by which men take their first apprehensions and observations of things; as the being of the rule must be before its application to the thing directed by it. Robert South, Serm.

    The rules of our practice are taken from the conduct of such persons as fall within our observation. John Rogers.

    In matters of human prudence, we shall find the greatest advantage by making wise observations on our conduct, and of the events attending it. Isaac Watts, Logick.


  1. observation

    Observation is the act of closely watching or noticing something or someone, often with the intention of gathering information or learning about their behavior, characteristics, or surroundings. It involves objectively examining and perceiving phenomena or events through the senses or other means of data collection, such as scientific instruments or technological devices. Observations can be conducted in various contexts, including scientific research, everyday life, education, and professional fields, to gain insights, make inferences, or document factual data.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Observationnoun

    the act or the faculty of observing or taking notice; the act of seeing, or of fixing the mind upon, anything

  2. Observationnoun

    the result of an act, or of acts, of observing; view; reflection; conclusion; judgment

  3. Observationnoun

    hence: An expression of an opinion or judgment upon what one has observed; a remark

  4. Observationnoun

    performance of what is prescribed; adherence in practice; observance

  5. Observationnoun

    the act of recognizing and noting some fact or occurrence in nature, as an aurora, a corona, or the structure of an animal

  6. Observationnoun

    specifically, the act of measuring, with suitable instruments, some magnitude, as the time of an occultation, with a clock; the right ascension of a star, with a transit instrument and clock; the sun's altitude, or the distance of the moon from a star, with a sextant; the temperature, with a thermometer, etc.

  7. Observationnoun

    the information so acquired


  1. Observation

    Observation is an activity of a living being, such as a human, which is necessary in order to receive knowledge of the world or about the environment through the senses, which often later involves the recording of data via the use of scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during this activity.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Observation

    The act of regarding attentively and studying facts and occurrences, gathering data through analyzing, measuring, and drawing conclusions, with the purpose of applying the observed information to theoretical assumptions. Observation as a scientific method in the acquisition of knowledge began in classical antiquity; in modern science and medicine its greatest application is facilitated by modern technology. Observation is one of the components of the research process.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. observation

    In nautical astronomy, denotes the taking the sun, moon, or stars' altitude with a quadrant or sextant, in order thereby to find the latitude or time; also, the lunar distances.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'observation' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3337

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'observation' in Nouns Frequency: #918

How to pronounce observation?

How to say observation in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of observation in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of observation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of observation in a Sentence

  1. Robert Hurt:

    TRAPPIST-1 was hands down the most amazing thing I've ever worked on, i remember when that paper hit my desk, I glanced at the light curve of the star and my jaw hit the floor. For all my work on transiting exoplanets, I had never seen that. It was the result of 500 hours of observation that revealed seven planets. I saw these syncopated dips and it was the most beautiful data I had ever seen. What an amazingly bizarre system it was.

  2. Andrew Siemion:

    We're going to look very closely, as closely as we can. We are limited in terms of how long we can view a target given the curvature of the earth (and) instrumentation, if we're awarded the observation, we'll have between 24 to 36 hours with a variety of different radio receivers.

  3. Wu Zunyou:

    Will they cause the spread( of the virus) ? No they won't, why ? Because in China, under our current measures, all close contact( patients) have been placed under quarantine and isolated medical observation, and will be sent to hospital for diagnosis and treatment once they develop symptoms. So they won't cause any spread in society.

  4. Michael Ryan:

    We haven't seen secondary transmission in Goma - and it represents a huge credit to the teams on the ground in a city the size of Goma that we are approaching the end of the observation period for all of the contacts with no evidence of further transmission within the metropolitan area.

  5. Hazlitt:

    Women never reason and therefore they are, comparatively, seldom wrong. They judge instinctively of what falls under their immediate observation or experience, and do not trouble themselves about remote or doubtful consequences. If they make no profound discoveries, they do not involve themselves in gross absurdities. It is only by the help of reason and logical inference, according to Hobbes, that ?man becomes excellently wise or excellently foolish.?

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for observation

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for observation »


Find a translation for the observation definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"observation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/observation>.

Discuss these observation definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for observation? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    pass through the tissue or substance or its pores or interstices, as of gas
    A scarper
    B affront
    C transpire
    D abide

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for observation: