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[uh b-zur-vuh nt] /əbˈzɜr vənt/
quick to notice or perceive; alert.
looking at, watching, or regarding attentively; watchful.
careful in the observing of a law, custom, religious ritual, or the like.
an observer of law or rule.
(initial capital letter). Also, Observantine
[ob-zur-vuh n-tin, -teen] /ɒbˈzɜr vən tɪn, -ˌtin/ (Show IPA)
. a member of a Franciscan order that observes the strict rule of St. Francis.
Origin of observant
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < French, present participle of observer. See observe, -ant
Related forms
observantly, adverb
unobservant, adjective
unobservantly, adverb
1. perceptive. 2. attentive, heedful, mindful, aware. 3. obedient.
1. dull, slow. 2. heedless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for observant
  • Employees and employers should remain alert and observant.
  • Remain calm but be as alert and observant as possible.
  • Ability to remain alert, observant, and physically able to respond to work situations and emergencies.
  • Most of these pieces are personal stories of aimlessness amid privilege, of wandering, observant types.
  • But having seen that episode, anyone that feels this was cruel is not observant.
  • All you had to do was live long enough and be personally observant.
  • They involve meticulous observation, but they are not observant.
  • Commanders have to make time for observant soldiers to pray.
  • The observant will notice a pattern developing here.
  • Reading his diaries and letters, you are struck by how outward-turning and observant this reclusive dreamer was.
British Dictionary definitions for observant


paying close attention to detail; watchful or heedful
adhering strictly to rituals, ceremonies, laws, etc
Derived Forms
observantly, adverb
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 observant

1590s, from observe + -ant, or else from French observant, past participle of observer (see observance). In reference to Judaism, from 1902. As a noun from late 15c. Related: Observantly; observantness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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