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observatory

[uh b-zur-vuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /əbˈzɜr vəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
noun, plural observatories.
1.
a place or building equipped and used for making observations of astronomical, meteorological, or other natural phenomena, especially a place equipped with a powerful telescope for observing the planets and stars.
2.
an institution that controls or carries on the work of such a place.
3.
a place or structure that provides an extensive view; lookout.
Origin
1670-1680
1670-80; < Latin observā(re) to observe + -tory2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for observatory
  • The result is an image that is sharper than what a ground-based observatory could produce.
  • Maintenance of ocean observatory platforms is extremely expensive and prohibitive to deployment.
  • Adaptive optics put the observatory at the cutting edge.
  • The pace of extrasolar planet discovery is about to explode, thanks to a new space-based observatory.
  • He had a library and an observatory built next to the cathedral.
British Dictionary definitions for observatory

observatory

/əbˈzɜːvətərɪ; -trɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
an institution or building specially designed and equipped for observing meteorological and astronomical phenomena
2.
any building or structure providing an extensive view of its surroundings
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for observatory
n.

"building for observing astronomical phenomena," 1670s (in reference to Greenwich), from French observatoire, from observer (v.); see observe.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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