Definition of observance in English:



mass noun
  • 1The practice of observing the requirements of law, morality, or ritual.

    ‘strict observance of the rules’
    ‘the decline in religious observance’
    • ‘A finding of an abuse requires, first, a combination of objective circumstances in which, despite formal observance of the conditions laid down by the Community rules, the purpose of those rules has not been achieved.’
    • ‘The argument can be made that this is a symbolic gesture, appropriate to the government's observance of Women's Day, and that much more meaningful work is being done as part of ongoing programmes.’
    • ‘Examples included interethnic cooperation or observance of the rule of law.’
    • ‘Canada's central bank can only raise or lower credit rates and cash levels in strict observance of what the US central bank is doing, or else risk utter economic chaos in this country.’
    • ‘Daya Nath believed that mental purity could only be obtained through renunciation of the world, observance of rituals, introspection, and yoga.’
    • ‘These medallions will be made at the Perth Mint that guarantees their weight, gold and silver content and strict observance of the limited mintage.’
    • ‘‘This is not an acquisition programme or venture which requires tenders and observance of section 217 of the Constitution,’ he said.’
    • ‘The observance of conventions, traditions, and institutional norms permits purposeful choice and action within a frame work that sets limits to possible outcomes.’
    • ‘It is known, among other things, for its strict observance of the Sabbath.’
    • ‘The Queen is meticulous in her strict observance of the constitution and keeps her role to herself; which does not necessarily mean she has never privately consulted her husband, when she could with propriety do so.’
    • ‘Here again, more than the enforcement of strict road regulations, observance of traffic rules by drivers would prevent traffic jams.’
    • ‘During the outbreak in Toronto hospitals, health care workers became infected with the virus despite observance of strict infection control precautions.’
    • ‘Strict observance of the new regulations could require, for instance, the inappropriate installation of PVC windows.’
    • ‘I did not understand that God did not merely require the outward observance of certain rituals but rather a clean heart and a holy life.’
    • ‘Renewed emphasis on the strict observance of ‘know your customer’ and collateral policies are needed to ensure that lending standards do not slip during boom periods.’
    • ‘What they need from me is a reduction in weight, an increase in overall physical activity, and observance of the correct diet.’
    • ‘It has become the object of a global cult, and the money which it absorbs from the world is a from of practical worship, a daily puja, the ritual observance of its omnipotence.’
    • ‘Fireworks, red lanterns, dragon dancing, bells chiming… these have been the symbols of the Chinese people's observance of Spring Festival for centuries.’
    • ‘The liminal status of a given character is frequently signalled by deviations in his/her observance of everyday communal rituals.’
    • ‘In the management of its global operations, IBM the world's largest computer maker has been well known for its strict observance of clean business ethics.’
    rite, ritual, ceremony, ceremonial, celebration, practice, service, office, festival, tradition, custom, convention, usage, habit, formality, form
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    1. 1.1usually observancescount noun An act performed for religious or ceremonial reasons.
      ‘official anniversary observances’
      • ‘It is encouraging to know that the Scottish spokesman of the Muslim Association of Great Britain supports religious observances, Christian or otherwise.’
      • ‘While Roman Catholics marched for their saviour, as part of Corpus Christi observances, other residents had a march of their own.’
      • ‘The one and only issue for the Church in all the observances of the ceremonial laws of Moses is that they not be regarded as binding.’
      • ‘He repudiated all formal observances of Jewish tradition, however, immersing himself instead in the study of the Greek and Roman classics, which he would later teach in an elite Viennese high school.’
      • ‘Lamas (religious leaders) skilled in rituals perform the necessary religious observances.’
      • ‘I do not watch or take part in any official observances.’
      • ‘The essence of religion, the philosopher William James argued, lies not in the rites and observances of ecclesiastical life, but in the ‘feelings, acts and experiences of individual men’.’
      • ‘Firstly he was telling me stories, Bible stories, he was teaching me observances and not just teaching, but we were performing those observances.’
      • ‘Sufis have occasionally dispensed with the traditional observances of Islam, such as the haj to Mecca, although most have observed the customary rules.’
      • ‘Hot cross buns are thought to have cemented their link with Christian observances in the late 14th century at an abbey in England.’
      • ‘This gave the clergy an excuse to abolish them and replace them with purely Christian observances.’
      • ‘Most people could name only a few of the Pimbwe gods, clan observances, or customary procedures.’
      • ‘Burial practices vary by religious group, but for the most part funeral and burial observances are the responsibility of the deceased's family.’
      • ‘Had this decision of the Commissioner's been part of a policy decision about religious observances in the Police Service, in which all religious practices were being considered, and removed, no one could quarrel.’
      • ‘One of the reasons for increasing participation in many of these observances could be the shrinkage in the amount of time that families spend together in these days of nuclear families and working parents.’
      • ‘Many religions go through ceremonies or observances of rituals to become pure or to be healed.’
      • ‘They are disappointed that they cannot encourage their adult children and grandchildren to get involved, except possibly for special observances, such as Christmas.’
      • ‘Guyanese American cultural traditions have been preserved by the religious observances of weddings, baptisms, and funerals.’
      • ‘Each culture has specific mourning rites and observances that are integrated with Christian beliefs and rituals.’
      • ‘Over a time period, pagan festivals replaced biblical feasts of Old Testament and the observances of Christmas and Easter became a part of Christian tradition.’
      ceremony, rite, ceremonial
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    2. 1.2count noun A rule to be followed by a religious order.
      ‘he drew up a body of monastic observances’
      • ‘This provides for all religious observances including fasting and Hajj to occur in all seasons during a person's life.’
      • ‘Christianity firmly held that faith was supreme; that deeds enacted as religious observances were inimical to right faith and served to divert man from his ordained goals.’
      • ‘The frugal virtues of Buddhism and Jainism were rejected and followers were encouraged to reject all religious observances and make the most of life's pleasures!’
      • ‘They had some institutions of religious observances, including public prayers and fasts.’
      • ‘Jesus lived under the Mosaic Law, with its rich layers of observances and rules.’
      • ‘One of the saddest casualties of that process was the effective abolition of the Church's ancient observances of fasting and abstinence.’
      • ‘Fullness of life is found in a faithful observance of religious rituals.’
      • ‘This does not mean we should reject the specificity of our traditions, our religious texts, holidays, observances or prayers.’
      • ‘Embrace religious vows, rules and observances and never waver in fulfilling them.’
      • ‘What did Woodsmall think about this denial of basic human rights on the basis of religious observances?’
      • ‘As long as an accessory is being used for a religious observance, it may not be used for any other purpose, out of respect for God's commandments.’
      • ‘Paul also showed the folly of hoping to find some saving power in religious observances.’
      • ‘The influence of royal wives on their husbands' religious observances suggests the power that women exercised, even within the context of arranged political marriages.’
      • ‘Do we pay close attention to our religious observances to the exclusion of the inner life of our hearts?’
      • ‘Why were the prayers, sacrifices and observances of these ancient Israelites not pleasing to God?’
      • ‘Nevertheless, during a period of religious persecution, most authorities agree that one should not abandon one's religious observances or studies out of fear of detection.’
      • ‘The prayer in its present form is not in substance a religious observance, coercive or otherwise and it does not impose any burden on the applicant or any restriction on his exercise of his own beliefs.’
      • ‘Reform has also given prominence to the moral commands over the ritual observances.’
      • ‘Although not religious, Ilan felt compelled to keep some significant religious observances in space to fulfill his dream of uniting the Jewish people and representing our nation.’
      • ‘Particular emphasis is placed on not recognizing the holy days or national observances of the infidels.’
  • 2The action of watching or noticing something.

    ‘the baby's motionless observance of me’
    • ‘I looked at him, searching for an elusive answer in my head, a witty reply to such careful observance.’
    • ‘Standing by her, eye to eye, he could see the tower in the distance behind her that he had noticed from his last observance.’
    scrutiny, observation, examination, inspection, watching, viewing, eyeing, looking
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  • 3archaic Respect; deference.

    ‘the tramp gave them no observance’
    • ‘They make it work by sharing basic values and respecting each other's observance.’
    • ‘To those who cautiously venture into such a hidden world, Wheeler advises respectful observance.’
    compliance with, adherence to, conformity to, obedience to, acquiescence in, accordance with, respect for
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Middle English: via Old French from Latin observantia, from observant- ‘watching, paying attention to’, from the verb observare (see observe).