Pronunciation: (ub-zûr'vuns), [key]
1. an act or instance of following, obeying, or conforming to: the observance of traffic laws.
2. a keeping or celebration by appropriate procedure, ceremonies, etc.: the observance of the Sabbath.
3. a procedure, ceremony, or rite, as for a particular occasion: patriotic observances.
4. a rule or custom to be followed or obeyed; a customary practice.
5. Rom. Cath. Ch.
a. a rule or discipline for a religious house or order.
b. a house or order observing a rule or discipline.
6. an act or instance of watching, noting, or perceiving; observation.
7. respectful attention or service.
8. Archaic.courteous attention as to a person; dutiful service.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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