observe verb

1 notice/watch

ADV. carefully, closely | precisely | directly It is not possible to observe this phenomenon directly, but its effects can be seen in the rise in global temperatures. | actually It is the parents who actually observe these behavioural problems in their children. | just, simply You can learn a lot by simply observing. | generally, normally | quietly She stood there, quietly observing the domestic scene. | secretly | experimentally This phenomenon has been observed experimentally.

VERB + OBSERVE be able to | be possible | be difficult to | be interesting to It is interesting to observe the reaction of the children to these changes.

PREP. from unaware that she was being observed from the window

PHRASES be commonly/frequently/widely observed This behaviour is commonly observed among several species of finch. | be easily/readily observed, an opportunity to observe sb/sth

2 make a remark

ADV. correctly, justly, rightly, shrewdly She correctly observed that there was very little difference between the two parties on domestic policies. | drily, sardonically, wryly | tartly | coldly, coolly ‘You took your time, ’ he observed coolly. | conversationally | mildly, quietly | sadly

PREP. to ‘It's easy for him to say that, ’ she observed tartly to Michael, ‘but can he prove it?’

3 obey rules

ADV. correctly, faithfully, scrupulously, strictly This procedure must be correctly observed.

VERB + OBSERVE fail to

PHRASES failure to observe sth Failure to observe club rules may result in expulsion.