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observe

[uh b-zurv] /əbˈzɜrv/
verb (used with object), observed, observing.
1.
to see, watch, perceive, or notice:
He observed the passersby in the street.
2.
to regard with attention, especially so as to see or learn something:
I want you to observe her reaction to the judge's question.
3.
to watch, view, or note for a scientific, official, or other special purpose:
to observe an eclipse.
4.
to state by way of comment; remark:
He observed frequently that clerks were not as courteous as they used to be.
5.
to keep or maintain in one's action, conduct, etc.:
You must observe quiet.
6.
to obey, comply with, or conform to:
to observe laws.
7.
to show regard for by some appropriate procedure, ceremony, etc.:
to observe Palm Sunday.
8.
to perform duly or solemnize (ceremonies, rites, etc.).
9.
to note or inspect closely for an omen or sign of future events.
verb (used without object), observed, observing.
10.
to notice.
11.
to act as an observer.
12.
to remark or comment (usually followed by on or upon).
Origin of observe
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English observen < Middle French observer < Latin observāre to watch, regard, attend to, equivalent to ob- ob- + servāre to keep, save, pay heed to
Related forms
observedly
[uh b-zur-vid-lee] /əbˈzɜr vɪd li/ (Show IPA),
adverb
observingly, adverb
nonobserving, adjective
nonobservingly, adverb
preobserve, verb (used with object), preobserved, preobserving.
quasi-observed, adjective
reobserve, verb, reobserved, reobserving.
self-observed, adjective
unobserved, adjective
unobserving, adjective
well-observed, adjective
Synonyms
2. note. Observe, witness imply paying strict attention to what one sees or perceives. Both are “continuative” in action. To observe is to mark or be attentive to something seen, heard, etc.; to consider carefully; to watch steadily: to observe the behavior of birds, a person's pronunciation. To witness, formerly to be present when something was happening, has added the idea of having observed with sufficient care to be able to give an account as evidence: to witness an accident. 4. mention, say. 6. follow, fulfill. 7. celebrate, keep.
Antonyms
1–3, 6–8. ignore.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for well-observed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It would be easy to multiply examples of this kind, particularly those of well-observed telepathic cases.

  • This is a well-observed fact, and depends on certain optical laws.

    My Airships Alberto Santos-Dumont
  • No doubt you recall his first novel, The Sheep Path, a sincere and well-observed study of feminine temperament.

  • It is a well-observed law of Nature that man must be organized in harmony with the condition of climate, otherwise he perishes.

    Martyria Augustus C. Hamlin
  • In well-observed cases apparently we do not find the stupor reaction without either coincident or preceding ideas of death.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • These plain, decided, easily observable, and well-observed facts are among the most convincing I have received.

  • On the other hand, well-observed premonitions are of immense importance.

  • It is very curious that it should be so, but we are driven to that as the only possible explanation of well-observed facts.

  • Numerous and well-observed facts would almost compel us to believe so.

British Dictionary definitions for well-observed

observe

/əbˈzɜːv/
verb
1.
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to see; perceive; notice: we have observed that you steal
2.
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to watch (something) carefully; pay attention to (something)
3.
to make observations of (something), esp scientific ones
4.
when intr, usually foll by on or upon; when tr, may take a clause as object. to make a comment or remark: the speaker observed that times had changed
5.
(transitive) to abide by, keep, or follow (a custom, tradition, law, holiday, etc)
Derived Forms
observable, adjective
observableness, observability, noun
observably, adverb
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin observāre, from ob- to + servāre to watch
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 well-observed

observe

v.

late 14c., "to hold to" (a manner of life or course of conduct), from Old French observer, osserver "to observe, watch over, follow" (10c.), from Latin observare "watch over, note, heed, look to, attend to, guard, regard, comply with," from ob "over" (see ob-) + servare "to watch, keep safe," from PIE root *ser- "to protect." Meaning "to attend to in practice, to keep, follow" is attested from late 14c. Sense of "watch, perceive, notice" is 1560s, via notion of "see and note omens." Meaning "to say by way of remark" is from c.1600. Related: Observed; observing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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