observe-v; 4 Senses

Sense Number 1: pay close attention to (as if by watching)

Commentary: Syntax Is: NP1[agent] OBSERVE NP2[patient]

Observe the pose of the figures in the foreground of this painting.
We couldn't observe the eclipse because of the overcast skies.
No one observed the crime being committed.
The chorus didn't appear to observe the conductor's tempo and got ahead of him.
Wall Street has been observing the process of this merger with some interest.
I observed a woman meowing into her cell phone yesterday.

VerbNet: investigate-35.4,sight-30.2
FrameNet: Perception_active
PropBank: observe.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 3, 4, 7, 8

Sense Number 2: adhere to or engage in a practice

Commentary: Syntax Is: NP1 OBSERVE NP2
NOTE: often respectful actions towards a tradition or religious practice. Also includes following through on appointments, promises, etc.

When did the country start observing Martin Luther King day?
John's family observes the Sabbath.
They are claiming that they intend to observe the conditions of the contract.
The team observed a moment of silence in Ms. Weber's memory.

VerbNet: NM
FrameNet: Compliance
PropBank: observe.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 5, 6, 9

Sense Number 3: discover or detect

Commentary: Syntax Includes: NP1 OBSERVE[punctual] (NP2) (SCOMP)

I observed a definite change in Jane's behavior at work last week.
Scientists have observed a sharp drop in vulture populations in India recently.
Analysts have observed that China's energy demands have grown in recent years.

VerbNet: conjecture-29.5-2,sight-30.2
FrameNet: Becoming_aware
PropBank: NM
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 4: state, remark or mention

Commentary: Syntax Is: NP1[agent] OBSERVE NP2

"Mary is always late for dinner," observed John, glancing at his watch.
She observed to the other session members that they should disable their cellphones.

VerbNet: say-37.7-1
FrameNet: Statement
PropBank: observe.02
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2