Observance Ob*serv"ance, n. [F. observance, L. observantia. See {Observant}.] 1. The act or practice of observing or noticing with attention; a heeding or keeping with care; performance; -- usually with a sense of strictness and fidelity; as, the observance of the Sabbath is general; the strict observance of duties. [1913 Webster]

It is a custom More honored in the breach than the observance. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. An act, ceremony, or rite, as of worship or respect; especially, a customary act or service of attention; a form; a practice; a rite; a custom. [1913 Webster]

At dances These young folk kept their observances. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Use all the observance of civility. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Some represent to themselves the whole of religion as consisting in a few easy observances. --Rogers. [1913 Webster]

O I that wasted time to tend upon her, To compass her with sweet observances! --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

3. Servile attention; sycophancy. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Salads and flesh, such as their haste could get, Served with observance. --Chapman. [1913 Webster]

This is not atheism, But court observance. --Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster]

Syn: {Observance}, {Observation}. These words are discriminated by the two distinct senses of observe. To observe means (1) to keep strictly; as, to observe a fast day, and hence, observance denotes the keeping or heeding with strictness; (2) to consider attentively, or to remark; and hence, observation denotes either the act of observing, or some remark made as the result thereof. We do not say the observation of Sunday, though the word was formerly so used. The Pharisees were curious in external observances; the astronomers are curious in celestial observations. [1913 Webster]

Love rigid honesty, And strict observance of impartial laws. --Roscommon. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • observance — [ ɔpsɛrvɑ̃s ] n. f. • XIIIe; lat. observantia 1 ♦ Action d observer habituellement, de pratiquer une règle en matière religieuse; obéissance (à la règle). ⇒ observation, 1. pratique. « L observance de la loi du Seigneur » (Massillon). (Règle non… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • observance — observance, observation These two words correspond to different branches in meaning of the verb observe (‘to see or notice’ and ‘to follow or adhere to’). Observance is the word normally used in connection with respecting rules, carrying out… …   Modern English usage

  • observance — Observance. s. f. v. Pratique de la Regle d un Ordre Religieux. L observance de la Regle. l estroite observance. Religieux du Tiers Ordre de S. François de l estroite observance …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • observance — (n.) early 13c., act performed in accordance with prescribed usage, especially a religious or ceremonial one, from O.Fr. observance, from L. observantia act of keeping customs, attention, from observantem (nom. observans), prp. of observare (see… …   Etymology dictionary

  • observance — Observance, f. penac. Obseruantia, Obseruatio. Ancienne observance, Disciplina. Venir contre la commune observance et coustume d un peuple, A consuetudine alicuius populi discedere. Observation, f. acut. Obseruatio …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • observance — [n1] attention to, knowledge of something acknowledgment, acquittal, acquittance, adherence, awareness, carrying out, celebration, cognizance, compliance, discharge, fidelity, fulfillment, heed, heeding, honoring, keeping, mark, mind, note,… …   New thesaurus

  • observance — [əb zʉrv′əns] n. [ME observaunce < OFr observance < L observantia, attention, regard, in LL(Ec), divine worship] 1. the act or practice of observing, or keeping, a law, duty, custom, rule, etc. 2. a customary act, rite, ceremony, etc. 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • observance — index acquiescence, adherence (devotion), allegiance, ceremony, compliance, conformity (obedience) …   Law dictionary

  • observance — ► NOUN 1) compliance with the requirements of law, morality, or ritual. 2) (observances) acts performed for religious or ceremonial reasons …   English terms dictionary

  • observance — (ob sèr van s ) s. f. 1°   Pratique d une règle en matière religieuse. •   Les bons princes n avaient qu à faire observer la loi de Moïse, et se contentaient d en recommander l observance à leurs successeurs, BOSSUET Hist. II, 3. •   L homme ne… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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