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v. ob·served, ob·serv·ing, ob·serves
a. To be or become aware of, especially through careful and directed attention; notice: observed a car leaving the property.
b. To watch attentively: observe a child's behavior.
c. To make a systematic or scientific observation of: observe the orbit of a comet.
2. To say casually; remark: "'It's nice to have somebody to wait on you,' she observed, with a laugh" (Upton Sinclair).
a. To adhere to or abide by; comply with: observe the terms of a contract.
b. To act in acknowledgment of (a holiday, for example); keep or celebrate: observe an anniversary.
c. To maintain (silence or a period of silence), as out of respect for someone who has died.
1. To take notice: stood by the window observing.
2. To say something; make a comment or remark: observed upon the unusual weather.
3. To watch or be present without participating actively: We were invited to the conference solely to observe.

[Middle English observen, to conform to, from Old French observer, from Latin observāre, to abide by, watch : ob-, over; see ob- + servāre, to keep, watch; see ser- in Indo-European roots.]

ob·serv′ing·ly adv.
Synonyms: observe, keep, celebrate, commemorate, solemnize
These verbs mean to give proper heed to or show proper reverence for something, such as a custom or holiday. Observe and keep stress compliance or respectful adherence to that which is prescribed: observes the Sabbath; keeps the holiday traditions. Celebrate emphasizes observance in the form of rejoicing or festivity: a surprise party to celebrate her birthday. To commemorate is to honor the memory of a past event: a ceremony that commemorated the career of a physician. Solemnize implies dignity and gravity in the celebration of an occasion: solemnized the funeral with a 21-gun salute. See Also Synonyms at see1.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.observing - quick to notice; showing quick and keen perception
perceptive - having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment; "a perceptive eye"; "a perceptive observation"
References in classic literature ?
the recorded opinions and experiences of distinguished medical professors, French, English, and Scotch, in more modern days, contenting myself with observing that I shall not abandon the facts until there shall have been a considerable spontaneous combustion of the testimony on which human occurrences are usually received.
If, observing himself, man sees that his will is always directed by one and the same law (whether he observes the necessity of taking food, using his brain, or anything else) he cannot recognize this never-varying direction of his will otherwise than as a limitation of it.
Behaviourism has not, however, sprung from observing the folly of men.
I believe that the discovery of our own motives can only be made by the same process by which we discover other people's, namely, the process of observing our actions and inferring the desire which could prompt them.
We feel dissatisfaction, and think that such and-such a thing would remove it; but in thinking this, we are theorizing, not observing a patent fact.
And as I observed that in the words I think, therefore I am, there is nothing at all which gives me assurance of their truth beyond this, that I see very clearly that in order to think it is necessary to exist, I concluded that I might take, as a general rule, the principle, that all the things which we very clearly and distinctly conceive are true, only observing, however, that there is some difficulty in rightly determining the objects which we distinctly conceive.
Bennet scarcely spoke at all; but when the servants were withdrawn, he thought it time to have some conversation with his guest, and therefore started a subject in which he expected him to shine, by observing that he seemed very fortunate in his patroness.
Bennet accepted the challenge, observing that he acted very wisely in leaving the girls to their own trifling amusements.
Glegg, had always said how it would be from the very first, observing that it was wonderful to herself how all her words came true.
My hours of leisure I spent in reading the best authors, ancient and modern, being always provided with a good number of books; and when I was ashore, in observing the manners and dispositions of the people, as well as learning their language; wherein I had a great facility, by the strength of my memory.
But I should have mentioned, that before the principal person began his oration, he cried out three times, LANGRO DEHUL SAN (these words and the former were afterwards repeated and explained to me); whereupon, immediately, about fifty of the inhabitants came and cut the strings that fastened the left side of my head, which gave me the liberty of turning it to the right, and of observing the person and gesture of him that was to speak.
Whereupon I once more thought of attempting to break my bonds; but again, when I felt the smart of their arrows upon my face and hands, which were all in blisters, and many of the darts still sticking in them, and observing likewise that the number of my enemies increased, I gave tokens to let them know that they might do with me what they pleased.