One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who makes scientific observations, especially in astronomy; a person in charge of an observatory; = "observer". Now historical.
Early 16th century (in an earlier sense). From Middle French, French observateur a person who observes a law, a person who makes (scientific) observations and its etymon classical Latin observātor a person who watches over something, in post-classical Latin also a person who observes a law or practice (early 3rd cent. in Tertullian) from observāt-, past participial stem of observāre + -or.
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