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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 of observatory
1670-1680
1670-80; < Latin observā(re) to observe + -tory2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for observatory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He glanced up at the clock—regulated electrically from the observatory—and scribbled the "filing time" at the bottom of the sheet.

    Ann Arbor Tales Karl Edwin Harriman
  • Mr King, who was at the observatory, ordered out the guard to receive the party.

    Captain Cook W.H.G. Kingston
  • Even at this day I do not know that any other observatory can show a circle eight feet in diameter graduated all round.

    Great Astronomers R. S. Ball
  • The observatory at Greenwich under the direction of an Apothecary!

    The Gentle Art of Making Enemies James McNeill Whistler
  • This wasnt a lovers bower; it was only a palestra, or an observatory.

    Nothing But the Truth Frederic S. Isham
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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