Observe vs. Watch - What's the difference?

Main Difference

The main difference between Observe and Watch is that the Observe is a active acquisition of information from a primary source and Watch is a personal timepiece.

Wikipedia

  • Observe

    Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In living beings, observation employs the senses. In science, observation can also involve the recording of data via the use of scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during the scientific activity. Observations can be qualitative, that is, only the absence or presence of a property is noted, or quantitative if a numerical value is attached to the observed phenomenon by counting or measuring.

  • Watch

    A watch is a timepiece intended to be carried or worn by a person. It is designed to keep working despite the motions caused by the person's activities. A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attached by a watch strap or other type of bracelet. A pocket watch is designed for a person to carry in a pocket. Watches progressed in the 17th century from spring-powered clocks, which appeared as early as the 14th century. During most of its history the watch was a mechanical device, driven by clockwork, powered by winding a mainspring, and keeping time with an oscillating balance wheel. In the 1960s the electronic quartz watch was invented, which was powered by a battery and kept time with a vibrating quartz crystal. By the 1980s the quartz watch had taken over most of the market from the mechanical watch. Today most watches that are inexpensive and medium-priced, used mainly for timekeeping, have quartz movements. Expensive collectible watches, valued more for their elaborate craftsmanship, aesthetic appeal and glamorous design than for simple timekeeping, often have traditional mechanical movements, even though they are less accurate and more expensive than electronic ones. Various extra features, called "complications", such as moon-phase displays and the different types of tourbillon, are sometimes included. Modern watches often display the day, date, month and year, and electronic watches may have many other functions. Time-related features such as timers, chronographs and alarm functions are common. Some modern designs incorporate calculators, GPS and Bluetooth technology or have heart-rate monitoring capabilities. Some watches use radio clock technology to regularly correct the time. Developments in the 2010s include smartwatches, which are elaborate computer-like electronic devices designed to be worn on a wrist. They generally incorporate timekeeping functions, but these are only a small subset of the smartwatch's facilities. The study of timekeeping is known as horology.

Wiktionary

  • Observe (verb)

    To notice or view, especially carefully or with attention to detail.

    "From this vantage point we can observe the behavior of the animals in their natural habitat."

  • Observe (verb)

    To follow or obey the custom, practice, or rules (especially of a religion).

    "Please observe all posted speed limits."

  • Observe (verb)

    To comment on something; to make an observation.

    "The senator observed that the bill would be detrimental to his constituents."

  • Watch (noun)

    A portable or wearable timepiece.

    "More people today carry a watch on their wrists than in their pockets."

  • Watch (noun)

    The act of guarding and observing someone or something.

  • Watch (noun)

    A particular time period when guarding is kept.

    "The second watch of the night began at midnight."

  • Watch (noun)

    A person or group of people who guard.

    "The watch stopped the travelers at the city gates."

  • Watch (noun)

    The post or office of a watchman; also, the place where a watchman is posted, or where a guard is kept.

  • Watch (noun)

    A group of sailors and officers aboard a ship or shore station with a common period of duty: starboard watch, port watch.

  • Watch (noun)

    A period of time on duty, usually four hours in length; the officers and crew who tend the working of a vessel during the same watch. (FM 55–501).

  • Watch (noun)

    The act of seeing, or viewing, for a period of time.

  • Watch (verb)

    To look at, see, or view for a period of time.

    "Watching the clock will not make time go faster."

    "I'm tired of watching TV."

  • Watch (verb)

    To observe over a period of time; to notice or pay attention.

    "Watch this!"

    "Put a little baking soda in some vinegar and watch what happens."

  • Watch (verb)

    To mind, attend, or guard.

    "Please watch my suitcase for a minute."

    "He has to watch the kids that afternoon."

  • Watch (verb)

    To be wary or cautious of.

    "You should watch that guy. He has a reputation for lying."

  • Watch (verb)

    To attend to dangers to or regarding.

    "watch your head;"

    "watch your step"

    "Watch yourself when you talk to him."

    "Watch what you say."

  • Watch (verb)

    To remain awake with a sick or dying person; to maintain a vigil.

  • Watch (verb)

    To be vigilant or on one's guard.

    "For some must watch, while some must sleep: So runs the world away."

  • Watch (verb)

    To act as a lookout.

  • Watch (verb)

    To serve the purpose of a watchman by floating properly in its place.

  • Watch (verb)

    To be awake.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Observe (verb)

    notice or perceive (something) and register it as being significant

    "she observed that all the chairs were already occupied"

  • Observe (verb)

    watch (someone or something) carefully and attentively

    "Rob stood in the hallway, from where he could observe the happenings on the street"

  • Observe (verb)

    take note of or detect (something) in the course of a scientific study

    "the behaviour observed in groups of chimpanzees"

  • Observe (verb)

    make a remark

    "‘It's chilly,’ she observed"

    "a stockbroker once observed that dealers live and work in hell"

  • Observe (verb)

    fulfil or comply with (a social, legal, ethical, or religious obligation)

    "a tribunal must observe the principles of natural justice"

  • Observe (verb)

    maintain (silence) in compliance with a rule or custom, or temporarily as a mark of respect

    "a minute's silence will be observed"

  • Observe (verb)

    perform or take part in (a rite or ceremony)

    "relations gather to observe the funeral rites"

  • Observe (verb)

    celebrate or acknowledge (an anniversary)

    "they observed the one-year anniversary of the flood"

  • Watch (verb)

    look at or observe attentively over a period of time

    "as she watched, two women came into the garden"

    "Lucy watched him go"

    "everyone stopped to watch what was going on"

  • Watch (verb)

    keep under careful, protective, or secret observation

    "he told me my telephones were tapped and that I was being watched"

    "there aren't enough staff to watch him properly"

  • Watch (verb)

    observe and guard in a protective way

    "I guess I can rest a while, with you here to watch over me"

  • Watch (verb)

    follow closely or maintain an interest in

    "the girls watched the development of this relationship with incredulity"

  • Watch (verb)

    exercise care, caution, or restraint about

    "you should watch what you say!"

    "most women watch their diet during pregnancy"

  • Watch (verb)

    look out or be on the alert for

    "in spring and summer, watch for kingfishers"

    "watch out for broken glass"

  • Watch (verb)

    be careful

    "credit-card fraud is on the increase, so watch out"

  • Watch (verb)

    be careful (used as a warning or threat)

    "if anyone finds out, you're dead meat, so watch it"

  • Watch (verb)

    remain awake for the purpose of religious observance

    "she watched whole nights in the church"

  • Watch (noun)

    a small timepiece worn typically on a strap on one's wrist

    "my watch had stopped"

  • Watch (noun)

    an act or instance of carefully observing someone or something over a period of time

    "the security forces have been keeping a close watch on our activities"

  • Watch (noun)

    a period during which a person is stationed to look out for danger or trouble, typically at night

    "Murray took the last watch before dawn"

  • Watch (noun)

    a fixed period of duty on a ship, usually lasting four hours

    "sea air, lots of exercise, and four-hour watches give everyone a healthy appetite"

  • Watch (noun)

    the officers and crew on duty during a watch.

  • Watch (noun)

    a shift worked by firefighters or police officers

    "the men of Red Watch at Kingsland Fire Station"

  • Watch (noun)

    a watchman or group of watchmen who patrolled and guarded the streets of a town before the introduction of the police force

    "the woman, with a piercing shriek, called the watch"

  • Watch (noun)

    a film or programme considered in terms of its appeal to the public

    "this movie's an engrossing watch"

  • Watch (noun)

    a flock of nightingales

    "a watch of nightingales began flying south"

Webster Dictionary

  • Observe

    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.

  • Observe

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

  • Observe

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

  • Observe (verb)

    To take notice; to give attention to what one sees or hears; to attend.

  • Observe (verb)

    To make a remark; to comment; to make an observation{3}; - generally with on or upon.

  • Watch (noun)

    The act of watching; forbearance of sleep; vigil; wakeful, vigilant, or constantly observant attention; close observation; guard; preservative or preventive vigilance; formerly, a watching or guarding by night.

  • Watch (noun)

    One who watches, or those who watch; a watchman, or a body of watchmen; a sentry; a guard.

  • Watch (noun)

    The post or office of a watchman; also, the place where a watchman is posted, or where a guard is kept.

  • Watch (noun)

    The period of the night during which a person does duty as a sentinel, or guard; the time from the placing of a sentinel till his relief; hence, a division of the night.

  • Watch (noun)

    A small timepiece, or chronometer, to be carried about the person, the machinery of which is moved by a spring.

  • Watch (noun)

    An allotted portion of time, usually four hour for standing watch, or being on deck ready for duty. Cf. Dogwatch.

  • Watch (verb)

    To be awake; to be or continue without sleep; to wake; to keep vigil.

  • Watch (verb)

    To be attentive or vigilant; to give heed; to be on the lookout; to keep guard; to act as sentinel.

  • Watch (verb)

    To be expectant; to look with expectation; to wait; to seek opportunity.

  • Watch (verb)

    To remain awake with any one as nurse or attendant; to attend on the sick during the night; as, to watch with a man in a fever.

  • Watch (verb)

    To serve the purpose of a watchman by floating properly in its place; - said of a buoy.

  • Watch

    To give heed to; to observe the actions or motions of, for any purpose; to keep in view; not to lose from sight and observation; as, to watch the progress of a bill in the legislature.

  • Watch

    To tend; to guard; to have in keeping.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Observe (verb)

    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of;

    "She detected high levels of lead in her drinking water"

    "We found traces of lead in the paint"

  • Observe (verb)

    make mention of;

    "She observed that his presentation took up too much time"

    "They noted that it was a fine day to go sailing"

  • Observe (verb)

    observe with care or pay close attention to;

    "Take note of this chemical reaction"

  • Observe (verb)

    watch attentively;

    "Please observe the reaction of these two chemicals"

  • Observe (verb)

    show respect towards;

    "honor your parents!"

  • Observe (verb)

    celebrate, as of holidays or rites;

    "Keep the commandments"

    "celebrate Christmas"

    "Observe Yom Kippur"

  • Observe (verb)

    follow with the eyes or the mind;

    "Keep an eye on the baby, please!"

    "The world is watching Sarajevo"

    "She followed the men with the binoculars"

  • Observe (verb)

    observe correctly or closely;

    "The pianist kept time with the metronome"

    "keep count"

    "I cannot keep track of all my employees"

  • Observe (verb)

    conform one's action or practice to;

    "keep appointments"

    "she never keeps her promises"

    "We kept to the original conditions of the contract"

  • Watch (noun)

    a small portable timepiece

  • Watch (noun)

    a period of time (4 or 2 hours) during which some of a ship's crew are on duty

  • Watch (noun)

    a purposeful surveillance to guard or observe

  • Watch (noun)

    the period during which someone (especially a guard) is on duty

  • Watch (noun)

    a person employed to watch for something to happen

  • Watch (noun)

    a devotional watch (especially on the eve of a religious festival)

  • Watch (verb)

    look attentively;

    "watch a basketball game"

  • Watch (verb)

    follow with the eyes or the mind;

    "Keep an eye on the baby, please!"

    "The world is watching Sarajevo"

    "She followed the men with the binoculars"

  • Watch (verb)

    see or watch;

    "view a show on television"

    "This program will be seen all over the world"

    "view an exhibition"

    "Catch a show on Broadway"

    "see a movie"

  • Watch (verb)

    observe with attention;

    "They watched as the murderer was executed"

  • Watch (verb)

    be vigilant, be on the lookout, be on one's guard, be careful;

    "Watch out for pickpockets!"

  • Watch (verb)

    observe or determine by looking;

    "Watch how the dog chases the cats away"

  • Watch (verb)

    find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort;

    "I want to see whether she speaks French"

    "See whether it works"

    "find out if he speaks Russian"

    "Check whether the train leaves on time"

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