1. someone or something that observes.
  2. a delegate to an assembly or gathering, who is sent to observe and report but not to take part officially in its activities.
  3. U.S. Air Force.
    1. a member of an aircrew, other than the pilot, holding an aeronautical rating.
    2. a person who maintains observation in an aircraft during flight.
  4. Also called air observer, aircraft observer. U.S. Army. a person who serves in an aircraft as a reconnoiterer and directs artillery fire.


  1. a person or thing that observes
  2. a person who attends a conference solely to note the proceedings
  3. a person trained to identify aircraft, esp, formerly, a member of an aircrew

n.1550s, “one who keeps a rule, custom, etc.,” agent noun from observe. Meaning “one who watches and takes notice” is from 1580s; this is the sense of the word in many newspaper names.

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