An observer is someone who watches or pays attention to something — if you're an observer of current events, you probably watch the news and read the newspaper every day to keep up with what's going on.

You can be an accidental observer of something, like pedestrians who happen to witness an accident and become observers of it. Another kind of observer is one who notices things deliberately, like political observers who watch and comment on various events. Many newspapers once had the word observer in their names, from this second sense of the word. The verb observe has a Latin root, observare, which means "watch over, note, heed, or attend to."

Definitions of observer

n a person who becomes aware (of things or events) through the senses

beholder, perceiver, percipient
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eyeglass wearer
a person who wears spectacles in order to see better
discoverer, finder, spotter
someone who is the first to observe something
attender, auditor, hearer, listener
someone who listens attentively
one whose mental imagery is auditory rather than visual or motor
one whose prevailing mental imagery takes the form of inner feelings of action
someone who takes notice
an observer who perceives visually
looker, spectator, viewer, watcher, witness
a close observer; someone who looks at something (such as an exhibition of some kind)
visualiser, visualizer
one whose prevailing mental imagery is visual
informant, witness, witnesser
someone who sees an event and reports what happened
attestant, attester
someone who affirms or vouches for the correctness or truth or genuineness of something
a viewer who looks around casually without seeking anything in particular
a nonparticipant spectator
a spectator who shouts encouragement
someone who is the first of two or more people to discover something
a secret listener to private conversations
a spectator who can describe what happened
a spectator who stares stupidly without intelligent awareness
motion-picture fan, moviegoer
someone who goes to see movies
a viewer who gives a flirtatious or lewd look at another person
looker-on, onlooker
someone who looks on
playgoer, theatergoer, theatregoer
someone who attends the theater
rubberneck, rubbernecker
a person who stares inquisitively
a secret watcher; someone who secretly watches other people
a viewer who gazes fixedly (often with hostility)
deponent, deposer, testifier
a person who testifies or gives a deposition
Peeping Tom, peeper, voyeur
a viewer who enjoys seeing the sex acts or sex organs of others
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being

n an expert who observes and comments on something

a commentator who writes notes to a text
Type of:
a person with special knowledge or ability who performs skillfully

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