Definition of observation noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌɒbzəˈveɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌɑːbzərˈveɪʃn//
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] the act of watching somebody/something carefully for a period of time, especially to learn something Most information was collected by direct observation of the animals' behaviour. results based on scientific observations We managed to escape observation (= we were not seen). The suspect is being kept under observation (= watched closely by the police). She has outstanding powers of observation (= the ability to notice things around her). an observation post/tower (= a place from where somebody, especially an enemy, can be watched) CollocationsScientific researchTheory formulate/​advance a theory/​hypothesis build/​construct/​create/​develop a simple/​theoretical/​mathematical model develop/​establish/​provide/​use a theoretical/​conceptual framework advance/​argue/​develop the thesis that… explore an idea/​a concept/​a hypothesis make a prediction/​an inference base a prediction/​your calculations on something investigate/​evaluate/​accept/​challenge/​reject a theory/​hypothesis/​modelExperiment design an experiment/​a questionnaire/​a study/​a test do research/​an experiment/​an analysis make observations/​measurements/​calculations carry out/​conduct/​perform an experiment/​a test/​a longitudinal study/​observations/​clinical trials run an experiment/​a simulation/​clinical trials repeat an experiment/​a test/​an analysis replicate a study/​the results/​the findings observe/​study/​examine/​investigate/​assess a pattern/​a process/​a behaviour/(especially US English) a behavior fund/​support the research/​project/​study seek/​provide/​get/​secure funding for researchResults collect/​gather/​extract data/​information yield data/​evidence/​similar findings/​the same results analyse/​examine the data/​soil samples/​a specimen consider/​compare/​interpret the results/​findings fit the data/​model confirm/​support/​verify a prediction/​a hypothesis/​the results/​the findings prove a conjecture/​hypothesis/​theorem draw/​make/​reach the same conclusions read/​review the records/​literature describe/​report an experiment/​a study present/​publish/​summarize the results/​findings present/​publish/​read/​review/​cite a paper in a scientific journal
  2. 2  [countable] observation (about/on something) (formal) a comment, especially based on something you have seen, heard or read synonym remark He began by making a few general observations about the report. She has some interesting observations on possible future developments. Synonymsstatementcomment announcement remark declaration observationThese are all words for something that you say or write, especially something that gives information or an opinion.statement something that you say or write that gives information or an opinion, often in a formal way:A government spokesperson made a statement to the press.comment something that you say or write that gives an opinion on something or is a response to a question about a particular situation:She made helpful comments on my work.announcement a spoken or written statement that informs people about something:the announcement of a peace agreementremark something that you say or write that gives an opinion or thought about somebody/​something:He made a number of rude remarks about the food.declaration (rather formal) an official or formal statement, especially one that states an intention, belief or feeling, or that gives information:the declaration of warobservation (rather formal) a comment, especially one based on something you have seen, heard or read:He began by making a few general observations about the report.comment, remark or observation? A comment can be official or private. A remark can be made in public or private but is always unofficial and the speaker may not have considered it carefully. An observation is unofficial but is usually more considered than a remark.Patterns a(n) statement/​comment/​announcement/​remark/​declaration/​observation about something a(n) statement/​comment/​observation on something a(n) public/​official statement/​comment/​announcement/​declaration to make a(n) statement/​comment/​announcement/​remark/​declaration/​observation to issue a(n) statement/​announcement/​declaration
  3. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘respectful adherence to the requirements of rules or ritual’): from Latin observatio(n-), from the verb observare ‘to watch’, from ob- ‘towards’ + servare ‘attend to, look at’.Extra examples She was admitted to hospital for observation. The police have had him under observation for several weeks. The survey was based on direct observation of over 500 schools. There’s a lot to be learned from simple observation. an artist with acute powers of observation her witty observations on life observations from one reader in Hawaii Most of the information was collected by direct observation of the animals’ behaviour. She has outstanding powers of observation. The camp is ringed by observation towers/​posts. The report is based on scientific observations. The suspect is being kept under observation. We managed to escape observation.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: observation

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