When you take a good look at something, noticing facts or taking measurements, you are engaging in observation, something a little more intense than just a quick glance. When you share an observation, you communicate an insight.

The Latin verb observāre, "to attend to," is the foundation for our word observation, which requires that you pay attention. If a hospital holds you overnight for observation, they want to keep an eye on your condition. If you have a lot of funny or interesting observations on a topic, maybe you should write a book. Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell once said, "If you make listening and observation your occupation you will gain much more than you can by talk."

Definitions of observation
  1. noun
    the act of observing; taking a patient look
    synonyms: observance, watching
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    the act of observing something (and sometimes keeping a record of it)
    the act of observing
    observation of the stars
    the first sighting of land from the sea after a voyage (or flight over water)
    type of:
    look, looking, looking at
    the act of directing the eyes toward something and perceiving it visually
  2. noun
    the act of noticing or paying attention
    synonyms: notice, observance
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    explicit notice
    type of:
    attending, attention
    the process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of others
  3. noun
    the act of making and recording a measurement
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    radio observation
    an observation made with a radio telescope
    type of:
    measure, measurement, measuring, mensuration
    the act or process of assigning numbers to phenomena according to a rule
  4. noun
    a remark expressing careful consideration
    synonyms: reflection, reflexion
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    Parkinson's law
    C. Northcote Parkinson's cynical observation that the number of subordinates in an organization will increase linearly regardless of the amount of work to be done
    Parkinson's law
    C. Northcote Parkinson's cynical observation that work will expand so as to fill the time available for its completion
    type of:
    comment, input, remark
    a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information
  5. noun
    facts learned by observing
    “he reported his observations to the mayor”
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    scientific fact
    an observation that has been confirmed repeatedly and is accepted as true (although its truth is never final)
    type of:
    a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred
Word Family
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