observation

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 duties and obligations, and performing formal customs and rituals, whereas observation is the equivalent in the more physical senses of seeing and perceiving, has the special countable meaning ‘a remark or comment’, and is used in special combinations such as observation car (on a train, chiefly AmE) and (military) observation post. Examples:

• To act on or defy a socially established rule has effects on all who benefit or suffer by its observance —A. C. Graham, 1985

• Edinburgh can offer ethnically-based social facilities and opportunities for meetings for several forms of non-Christian religious observance —undergraduate prospectus, 1993

• I didn't try to go into details on the phone, but said that we were going to need some police observation —J. R. L. Anderson, 1980

• The playgroup leader will usually offer her observations as part of the parents' contribution to the Statement —W. Swann et al., 1992.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — 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]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 [1] — Observation (v. lat.), Beobachtung. Daher Observationsarmee, od. bei geringerer Truppenzahl Observationscorps, eine weniger zum Kampfe als zur Beobachtung des Feindes od. einer Macht, welche feindliche Absichten zu zeigen scheint, bes. vor… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Observation [2] — Observation (spr. Obserwehsch n), Insel an der Nordküste von Australien, im Westen des Golfs von Carpentaria …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • 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

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