Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Obscurely adverb In an obscure manner. Milton.

Obscurement noun The act of obscuring, or the state of being obscured; obscuration. Pomfret.

Obscureness noun Obscurity. Bp. Hall.

Obscurer noun One who, or that which, obscures.

Obscurity noun [ Latin obscuritas : confer French obscurité .] The quality or state of being obscure; darkness; privacy; inconspicuousness; unintelligibleness; uncertainty.

Yuo are not for obscurity designed.
Dryden.

They were now brought forth from obscurity , to be contemplated by artists with admiration and despair.
Macaulay.

Syn. -- Darkness ; dimness; gloom. See Darkness .

Obsecrate transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Obsecrated ; present participle & vb, noun Obsecrating .] [ Latin obsecratus , past participle of obsecrare , prop., to ask on religious grounds; ob (see Ob- ) + sacrare to declare as sacred, from sacer sacred.] To beseech; to supplicate; to implore. [ R.]. Cockerman.

Obsecration noun [ Latin obsecratio : confer French obsecration .]
1. The act of obsecrating or imploring; as, the obsecrations of the Litany, being those clauses beginning with "By." Bp. Stillingfeet. Shipley.

2. (Rhet.) A figure of speech in which the orator implores the assistance of God or man.

Obsecratory adjective Expressing, or used in, entreaty; supplicatory. [ R.] Bp. Hall.

Obsequent adjective [ Latin obsequens , present participle of obsequi ; ob (see Ob- ) + sequi . See Sequence .] Obedient; submissive; obsequious. [ Obsolete] Fotherby.

Obsequience noun Obsequiousness. [ R.]

Obsequies noun plural See Obsequy .

Obsequious adjective [ Latin obsequiosus , from obsequium compliance, from obsequi , fr . obsequi : confer French obséquieux , See Obsequent , and confer Obsequy .]
1. Promptly obedient, or submissive, to the will of another; compliant; yielding to the desires of another; devoted. [ Obsolete]

His servants weeping,
Obsequious to his orders, bear him hither.
Addison.

2. Servilely or meanly attentive; compliant to excess; cringing; fawning; as, obsequious flatterer, parasite.

There lies ever in " obsequious " at the present the sense of an observance which is overdone, of an unmanly readiness to fall in with the will of another.
Trench.

3. [ See Obsequy .] Of or pertaining to obsequies; funereal. [ R.] "To do obsequious sorrow." Shak.

Syn. -- Compliant; obedient; servile. See Yielding .

Obsequiously adverb
1. In an obsequious manner; compliantly; fawningly. Dryden.

2. In a manner appropriate to obsequies. [ Obsolete]

Whilst I a while obsequiously lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
Shak.

Obsequiousness noun The quality or state of being obsequious. South.

Obsequy noun ; plural Obsequies . [ Latin obsequiae , plural, funeral rites, from obsequi : confer French obsèques . See Obsequent , and confer Obsequious .]
1. The last duty or service to a person, rendered after his death; hence, a rite or ceremony pertaining to burial; -- now used only in the plural. Spencer.

I will . . . fetch him hence, and solemnly attend,
With silent obsequy and funeral train.
Milton

I will myself
Be the chief mourner at his obsequies .
Dryden.

The funeral obsequies were decently and privately performed by his family
J. P. Mahaffy.

2. Obsequiousness. [ Obsolete] B. Jonson.

Observable adjective [ Latin observabilis : confer French observable .] Worthy or capable of being observed; discernible; noticeable; remarkable. Sir. T. Browne.

The difference is sufficiently observable .
Southey.

-- Ob*serv"a*ble*ness , noun -- Ob*serv"a*bly , adverb

Observance noun [ French observance , Latin observantia . See Observant .]
1. The act or practice of observing or noticing with attention; a heeding or keeping with care; performance; -- usually with a sense of strictness and fidelity; as, the observance of the Sabbath is general; the strict observance of duties.

It is a custom
More honored in the breach than the observance .
Shak.

2. An act, ceremony, or rite, as of worship or respect; especially, a customary act or service of attention; a form; a practice; a rite; a custom.

At dances
These young folk kept their observances .
Chaucer.

Use all the observance of civility.
Shak.

Some represent to themselves the whole of religion as consisting in a few easy observances .
Rogers.

O I that wasted time to tend upon her,
To compass her with sweet observances !
Tennyson.

3. Servile attention; sycophancy. [ Obsolete]

Salads and flesh, such as their haste could get,
Served with observance .
Chapman.

This is not atheism,
But court observance .
Beau. & Fl.

Syn. -- Observance , Observation . These words are discriminated by the two distinct senses of observe . To observe means (1) to keep strictly; as, to observe a fast day, and hence, observance denotes the keeping or heeding with strictness; (2) to consider attentively, or to remark; and hence, observation denotes either the act of observing , or some remark made as the result thereof. We do not say the observation of Sunday, though the word was formerly so used. The Pharisees were curious in external observances ; the astronomers are curious in celestial observations .

Love rigid honesty,
And strict observance of impartial laws.
Roscommon.

Observancy noun Observance. [ Obsolete]

Observandum noun ; plural Observanda . [ Latin ] A thing to be observed. Swift.

Observant adjective [ Latin observans , -anits , present participle of observare : confer French observant . See Observe .]


1. Taking notice; viewing or noticing attentively; watchful; attentive; as, an observant spectator; observant habits.

Wandering from clime to clime observant stray'd.
Pope.

2. Submissively attentive; obediently watchful; regardful; mindful; obedient (to); -- with of , as, to be observant of rules.

We are told how observant Alexander was of his master Aristotle.
Sir K. Digby.

Observant noun
1. One who observes forms and rules. [ Obsolete] Hooker.

2. A sycophantic servant. [ Obsolete]

Silly ducking observants ,
That stretch their duties nicely.
Shak.

3. (R.C.Ch.) An Observantine.

Observantine noun [ Fr. observantin .] (R.C.Ch.) One of a branch of the Order of Franciscans, who profess to adhere more strictly than the Conventuals to the intention of the founder, especially as to poverty; -- called also Observants .

Observantly adverb In an observant manner.

Observation noun [ Latin observatio : confer French observation .]
1. The act or the faculty of observing or taking notice; the act of seeing, or of fixing the mind upon, anything.

My observation , which very seldom lies.
Shak.

2. The result of an act, or of acts, of observing; view; reflection; conclusion; judgment.

In matters of human prudence, we shall find the greatest advantage in making wise observations on our conduct.
I. Watts.

3. Hence: An expression of an opinion or judgment upon what one has observed; a remark. "That's a foolish observation ." Shak.

To observations which ourselves we make
We grow more partial for the observer's sake.
Pope.

4. Performance of what is prescribed; adherence in practice; observance. [ Obsolete]

We are to procure dispensation or leave to omit the observation of it in such circumstances.
Jer. Taylor.

5. (Science) (a) The act of recognizing and noting some fact or occurrence in nature, as an aurora, a corona, or the structure of an animal. (b) Specifically, the act of measuring, with suitable instruments, some magnitude, as the time of an occultation, with a clock; the right ascension of a star, with a transit instrument and clock; the sun's altitude, or the distance of the moon from a star, with a sextant; the temperature, with a thermometer, etc. (c) The information so acquired.

» When a phenomenon is scrutinized as it occurs in nature, the act is termed an observation . When the conditions under which the phenomenon occurs are artificial, or arranged beforehand by the observer, the process is called an experiment . Experiment includes observation .

To take an observation (Nautical) , to ascertain the altitude of a heavenly body, with a view to fixing a vessel's position at sea.

Syn. -- Observance; notice; attention; remark; comment; note. See Observance .

Observation car A railway passenger car made so as to facilitate seeing the scenery en route; a car open, or with glass sides, or with a kind of open balcony at the rear.

Observational adjective Of a pertaining to observation; consisting of, or containing, observations. Chalmers.

Observative adjective Observing; watchful.

Observator noun [ Latin ]
1. One who observes or takes notice. [ Obsolete] Sir M. Hale.

2. One who makes a remark. [ Obsolete] Dryden.

Observatory noun ; plural Observatories . [ Confer French observatoire .]
1. A place or building for making observations on the heavenly bodies.

The new observatory in Greenwich Park.
Evelyn.

2. A building fitted with instruments for making systematic observations of any particular class or series of natural phenomena.

3. A place, as an elevated chamber, from which a view may be observed or commanded.

4. (Mil.) A lookout on a flank of a battery whence an officer can note the range and effect of the fire. Farrow.

Observe transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Observed ; present participle & verbal noun Observing .] [ Latin observare , observatum ; ob (see Ob- ) + servare to save, preserve, keep, heed, observe: confer French observer . See Serve .]
1. To take notice of by appropriate conduct; to conform one's action or practice to; to keep; to heed; to obey; to comply with; as, to observe rules or commands; to observe civility.

Ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread.
Ex. xii. 17.

He wolde no such cursedness observe .
Chaucer.

Must I budge? Must I observe you?
Shak.

With solemn purpose to observe
Immutably his sovereign will.
Milton.

2. To be on the watch respecting; to pay attention to; to notice with care; to see; to perceive; to discover; as, to observe an eclipse; to observe the color or fashion of a dress; to observe the movements of an army.

3. To express as what has been noticed; to utter as a remark; to say in a casual or incidental way; to remark.

Observe intransitive verb
1. To take notice; to give attention to what one sees or hears; to attend.

2. To make a remark; to comment; -- generally with on or upon .

I have barely quoted . . . without observing upon it.
Pope.

Syn. -- To remark. See Remark .

Observer noun
1. One who observes, or pays attention to, anything; especially, one engaged in, or trained to habits of, close and exact observation; as, an astronomical observer .

The observed of all observers .
Shak.

Careful observers may foretell the hour,
By sure prognostic, when to dread a shower.
Swift.

2. One who keeps any law, custom, regulation, rite, etc.; one who conforms to anything in practice. "Diligent observers of old customs." Spenser.

These . . . hearkend unto observers of times.
Deut. xviii. 14.

3. One who fulfills or performs; as, an observer of his promises.

4. A sycophantic follower. [ Obsolete] Beau. & Fl.

Observership noun The office or work of an observer.

Observing adjective Giving particular attention; habitually attentive to what passes; as, an observing person; an observing mind. -- Ob*serv"ing*ly , adverb

Obsess transitive verb [ Latin obsessus , past participle of obsidere to besiege; ob (see Ob- ) + sedere to sit.] To besiege; to beset. Sir T. Elyot.

Obsession noun [ Latin obsessio : confer French obsession .]
1. The act of besieging. Johnson.

2. The state of being besieged; -- used specifically of a person beset by a spirit from without. Tylor.

Whether by obsession or possession, I will not determine.
Burton.

Obsidian noun [ Latin Obsidianus lapis , so named, according to Pliny, after one Obsidius , who discovered it in Ethiopia: confer French obsidiane , obsidienne . The later editions of Pliny read Obsianus lapis , and Obsius , instead of Obsidianus lapis , and Obsidius .] (Min.) A kind of glass produced by volcanoes. It is usually of a black color, and opaque, except in thin splinters.

» In a thin section it often exhibits a fluidal structure, marked by the arrangement of microlites in the lines of the flow of the molten mass.

Obsidional adjective [ Latin obsidionalis , from obsidio a siege, obsidere to besiege: confer French obsidional . See Obsess .] Of or pertaining to a siege.

Obsidional crown (Rom.Antiq.) , a crown bestowed upon a general who raised the siege of a beleaguered place, or upon one who held out against a siege.

Obsigillation noun [ Latin ob (see Ob- ) + sigillum a seal.] A sealing up. [ Obsolete] Maunder.

Obsign transitive verb [ See Obsignate .] To seal; to confirm, as by a seal or stamp. [ Obsolete] Bradford.

Obsignate transitive verb [ Latin obsignated , past participle of obsignare to seal. See Ob- , and Sign .] To seal; to ratify. [ Obsolete] Barrow.

Obsignation noun [ Latin obsignatio .] The act of sealing or ratifying; the state of being sealed or confirmed; confirmation, as by the Holy Spirit.

The spirit of manifestation will but upbraid you in the shame and horror of a sad eternity, if you have not the spirit of obsignation .
Jer. Taylor.

Obsignatory adjective Ratifying; confirming by sealing. [ Obsolete] Samuel Ward (1643)

Obsolesce intransitive verb [ Latin obsolescere . See Obsolescent .] To become obsolescent. [ R.] Fitzed. Hall.

Obsolescence noun [ See Obsolescent .] The state of becoming obsolete.

Obsolescent adjective [ Latin obsolescens , -entis , present participle of obsolescere , to wear out gradually, to fall into disuse; ob (see Ob- ) + solere to use, be wont.] Going out of use; becoming obsolete; passing into desuetude.

Obsolete adjective [ Latin obsoletus , past participle of obsolescere . See Obsolescent .]
1. No longer in use; gone into disuse; disused; neglected; as, an obsolete word; an obsolete statute; -- applied chiefly to words, writings, or observances.

2. (Biol.) Not very distinct; obscure; rudimental; imperfectly developed; abortive.

Syn. -- Ancient; antiquated; old-fashioned; antique; old; disused; neglected. See Ancient .

Obsolete intransitive verb To become obsolete; to go out of use. [ R.] Fitzed. Hall.

Obsoletely adverb In an obsolete manner.

Obsoleteness noun
1. The state of being obsolete, or no longer used; a state of desuetude.

2. (Biol.) Indistinctness; want of development.