Observation
Observation Ob`ser*va"tion, n. [L. observatio: cf. F. observation.] 1. The act or the faculty of observing or taking notice; the act of seeing, or of fixing the mind upon, anything. [1913 Webster]

My observation, which very seldom lies. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. The result of an act, or of acts, of observing; view; reflection; conclusion; judgment. [1913 Webster]

In matters of human prudence, we shall find the greatest advantage in making wise observations on our conduct. --I. Watts. [1913 Webster]

3. Hence: An expression of an opinion or judgment upon what one has observed; a remark. ``That's a foolish observation.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

To observations which ourselves we make We grow more partial for the observer's sake. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

4. Performance of what is prescribed; adherence in practice; observance. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

We are to procure dispensation or leave to omit the observation of it in such circumstances. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

5. (Science) (a) The act of recognizing and noting some fact or occurrence in nature, as an aurora, a corona, or the structure of an animal. (b) Specifically, the act of measuring, with suitable instruments, some magnitude, as the time of an occultation, with a clock; the right ascension of a star, with a transit instrument and clock; the sun's altitude, or the distance of the moon from a star, with a sextant; the temperature, with a thermometer, etc. (c) The information so acquired; as, to record one's observations carefully. [1913 Webster]

Note: When a phenomenon is scrutinized as it occurs in nature, the act is termed an observation. When the conditions under which the phenomenon occurs are artificial, or arranged beforehand by the observer, the process is called an experiment. Experiment includes observation. [1913 Webster]

{To take an observation} (Naut.), to ascertain the altitude of a heavenly body, with a view to fixing a vessel's position at sea. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Observance; notice; attention; remark; comment; note. See {Observance}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • observation — [ ɔpsɛrvasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1200; lat. observatio I ♦ 1 ♦ Vx Loi, tradition communément observée. « Quelqu une de nos observations, reçue avec autorité » (Montaigne). 2 ♦ (1507) Mod. Action d observer ce que prescrit une loi, une règle. ⇒ obéissance …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • observation — Observation. s. f. v. Action par laquelle on observe ce qui est prescrit par quelque loy, ce que l on a promis à quelqu un. L Observation des Commandements de Dieu, des Loix. l observation de sa parole, de sa promesse. Il signifie aussi, Remarque …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • observation — I noun advertence, advertency, annotation, ascertainment, assertion, attention, attentiveness, check, cognition, cognizance, comment, commentary, concentration, conclusion, consideration, declaration, detection, dictum, discovery, espial,… …   Law dictionary

  • observation — [n1] attention, scrutiny ascertainment, check, cognition, cognizance, conclusion, consideration, detection, estimation, examination, experience, heedfulness, information, inspection, investigation, knowledge, mark, measurement, mind, monitoring,… …   New thesaurus

  • observation — [äb΄zər vā′shən] n. [ME observacioun < L observatio, in LL(Ec), reverence, outward display] 1. observance, as of laws, customs, etc. 2. a) the act, practice, or power of noticing b) something noticed 3. the fact of being seen or noticed… …   English World dictionary

  • Observation — (lat.), Beobachtung …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Observation — (lat.), Beobachtung; Observationsoffizier, s. Navigationsoffizier …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Observation — Observation, lat. deutsch, Beobachtung; O.sarmee, O.scorps, Beobachtungsarmee, –corps …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • observation — (n.) late 14c., performance of a religious rite, from L. observationem (nom. observatio) a watching over, noun of action from pp. stem of observare (see OBSERVE (Cf. observe)). Sense of act or fact of paying attention is from 1550s. Meaning a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • observation — *remark, comment, commentary, note, obiter dictum Analogous words: *opinion, view, belief: annotation, gloss (see under ANNOTATE): *criticism, critique …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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