Definition of observant in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əbˈzəːv(ə)nt/


1Quick to notice or perceive things: her observant eye took in every detail
More example sentences
  • The problem with their arguments, as observant readers will have noticed, is that their figures are rather shaky.
  • The observant may have noticed that the colour scheme of my blog broadly matches the colour scheme of my study, pictured below.
  • I, being an observant person, had noticed that I had not been asked for a bribe lately.
alert, sharp-eyed, sharp, eagle-eyed, hawk-eyed, with eyes like a hawk, keen-eyed, watchful, on the lookout, on the qui vive, on guard, attentive, vigilant, with one's eyes open/peeled/skinned, awake, heedful, mindful, focused, aware
informal beady-eyed, not missing a trick, on the ball
rare regardful
2Adhering strictly to the rules of a particular religion, especially Judaism: an observant Jew
More example sentences
  • He wears a distinctive black outfit and is strictly observant of religious laws.
  • That can't be said for other religiously observant people in the public square.
  • Tony teases Reuven over his observant religious practice and wonders if he'll become a priest one day.
committed, devout, orthodox, law-abiding


(Observant) historical A member of a branch of the Franciscan order that followed a strict rule.
Example sentences
  • A classic example was the Franciscan Observant friar Bernardino of Siena, whose cult of the name of Jesus, employing what were effectively magical tablets, sparked off accusations of heresy.
  • He joined the extremely strict Observant order and excelled in their discipline.
  • At the end of the 15th century six houses of Observants were established, three being transfers from Conventual friaries.


Late Middle English (as a noun): from French, literally 'watching', present participle of observer (see observe).

Words that rhyme with observant

fervent, servant
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words