observer

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
  1. noun
    a person who becomes aware (of things or events) through the senses
    synonyms: beholder, perceiver, percipient
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    types:
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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
    audile
    one whose mental imagery is auditory rather than visual or motor
    motile
    one whose prevailing mental imagery takes the form of inner feelings of action
    noticer
    someone who takes notice
    seer
    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
    browser
    a viewer who looks around casually without seeking anything in particular
    bystander
    a nonparticipant spectator
    cheerer
    a spectator who shouts encouragement
    co-discoverer
    someone who is the first of two or more people to discover something
    eavesdropper
    a secret listener to private conversations
    eyewitness
    a spectator who can describe what happened
    gawker
    a spectator who stares stupidly without intelligent awareness
    motion-picture fan, moviegoer
    someone who goes to see movies
    ogler
    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
    spy
    a secret watcher; someone who secretly watches other people
    starer
    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
  2. noun
    an expert who observes and comments on something
    synonyms: commentator
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    types:
    annotator
    a commentator who writes notes to a text
    type of:
    expert
    a person with special knowledge or ability who performs skillfully
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