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[uh b-zur-ver] /əbˈzɜr vər/
someone or something that observes.
a delegate to an assembly or gathering, who is sent to observe and report but not to take part officially in its activities.
U.S. Air Force.
  1. a member of an aircrew, other than the pilot, holding an aeronautical rating.
  2. a person who maintains observation in an aircraft during flight.
Also called air observer, aircraft observer. U.S. Army. a person who serves in an aircraft as a reconnoiterer and directs artillery fire.
1545-55; observe + -er1
Related forms
observership, noun
interobserver, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for observers
  • The swiftness of the embarkations surprised all foreign observers.
  • The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers.
  • The breach of this precept is arrogance, and observers of the precept are called modest.
  • This insertion into the vertebral column is, however, not admitted by all observers.
  • Other observers have described amok as a form of spirit possession.
  • Some observers suggested that the controversial comments fueled sen.
  • Consequently, anything inside this surface is completely hidden from observers outside.
  • This force also is the force due to tension seen by the rotating observers.
  • This behavior, called breaching, is often impressive to human observers.
  • The predictions they offered often appeared counterintuitive to observers.
British Dictionary definitions for observers


a person or thing that observes
a person who attends a conference solely to note the proceedings
a person trained to identify aircraft, esp, formerly, a member of an aircrew
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 observers



1550s, "one who keeps a rule, custom, etc.," agent noun from observe. Meaning "one who watches and takes notice" is from 1580s; this is the sense of the word in many newspaper names.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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