an act or instance of following, obeying, or conforming to: the observance of traffic laws.
a keeping or celebration by appropriate procedure, ceremonies, etc.: the observance of the sabbath.
a procedure, ceremony, or rite, as for a particular occasion: patriotic observances.
a rule or custom to be followed or obeyed; a customary practice.
Roman Catholic Church.
a rule or discipline for a religious house or order.
a house or order observing a rule or discipline.
an act or instance of watching, noting, or perceiving; observation.
respectful attention or service.
Archaic. courteous attention as to a person; dutiful service.

1175–1225; Middle English observaunce < Old French < Late Latin observantia, Latin: esteem, attention, derivative of observant- (stem of observāns), present participle of observāre. See observe, -ance

preobservance, noun

observance, observation.

1. compliance, adherence, heedfulness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To observance
World English Dictionary
observance (əbˈzɜːvəns)
1.  recognition of or compliance with a law, custom, practice, etc
2.  the act of such recognition
3.  a ritual, ceremony, or practice, esp of a religion
4.  observation or attention
5.  the degree of strictness of a religious order or community in following its rule
6.  archaic respectful or deferential attention

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

early 13c., "act performed in accordance with prescribed usage," esp. a religious or ceremonial one," from O.Fr. observance, from L. observantia "act of keeping customs, attention," from observantem (nom. observans), prp. of observare (see observe). Observance is the attending
to and carrying out of a duty or rule. Observation is watching, noticing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Observance of such is a specific condition of employment and admission.
They do have convocation once a year and pray at graduation, but that is about
  the extent of required religious observance.
She proposed looking at the relationship between optimism and religious
Success is in large part dependent on the comprehension and observance of
  entrenched protocols.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature