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3 definitions found
 for observance
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Observance \Ob*serv"ance\, n. [F. observance, L. observantia.
     See Observant.]
     1. The act or practice of observing or noticing with
        attention; a heeding or keeping with care; performance; --
        usually with a sense of strictness and fidelity; as, the
        observance of the Sabbath is general; the strict
        observance of duties.
        [1913 Webster]
              It is a custom
              More honored in the breach than the observance.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. An act, ceremony, or rite, as of worship or respect;
        especially, a customary act or service of attention; a
        form; a practice; a rite; a custom.
        [1913 Webster]
              At dances
              These young folk kept their observances. --Chaucer.
        [1913 Webster]
              Use all the observance of civility.   --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
              Some represent to themselves the whole of religion
              as consisting in a few easy observances. --Rogers.
        [1913 Webster]
              O I that wasted time to tend upon her,
              To compass her with sweet observances! --Tennyson.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Servile attention; sycophancy. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
              Salads and flesh, such as their haste could get,
              Served with observance.               --Chapman.
        [1913 Webster]
              This is not atheism,
              But court observance.                 --Beau. & Fl.
        [1913 Webster]
     Syn: Observance, Observation. These words are
          discriminated by the two distinct senses of observe. To
          observe means (1) to keep strictly; as, to observe a
          fast day, and hence, observance denotes the keeping or
          heeding with strictness; (2) to consider attentively, or
          to remark; and hence, observation denotes either the act
          of observing, or some remark made as the result thereof.
          We do not say the observation of Sunday, though the word
          was formerly so used. The Pharisees were curious in
          external observances; the astronomers are curious in
          celestial observations.
          [1913 Webster]
                Love rigid honesty,
                And strict observance of impartial laws.
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: the act of observing; taking a patient look [syn:
           observation, observance, watching]
      2: a formal event performed on a special occasion; "a ceremony
         commemorating Pearl Harbor" [syn: ceremony, ceremonial,
         ceremonial occasion, observance]
      3: the act of noticing or paying attention; "he escaped the
         notice of the police" [syn: notice, observation,
      4: conformity with law or custom or practice etc. [syn:
         honoring, observance] [ant: nonobservance]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  247 Moby Thesaurus words for "observance":
     accommodation, accord, accordance, acquiescence, adaptation,
     adaption, adherence, adhering, adjustment, adoration, advertence,
     advertency, agreement, alertness, allegiance, anniversaries,
     assiduity, assiduousness, attention, attention span, attentiveness,
     awareness, baccalaureate service, bon ton, care, carrying out,
     celebrating, celebration, ceremonial, ceremony, churchgoing,
     cognizance, commemoration, commencement, completion, compliance,
     complying, concentration, conformance,
     conformation other-direction, conforming, conformity, congruity,
     consciousness, consideration, consistency, consuetude, convention,
     conventionality, convocation, correspondence, cultism,
     custodianship, custody, custom, devotedness, devotion, devoutness,
     diligence, discharge, dressing ship, duteousness, dutifulness,
     duty, eagle eye, ear, earnestness, effectuation, empty formality,
     enforcement, espial, espionage, established way, etiquette,
     examination, execution, exercise, exercises, faith, faithfulness,
     fanfare, fanfaronade, fashion, fealty, festivity, flexibility,
     flourish of trumpets, folkway, form, form of worship, formal,
     formality, formula, formulary, fulfillment, function, graduation,
     graduation exercises, guard, guardedness, guardianship, habit,
     harmony, heed, heedfulness, heeding, holiday, holy rite, homage,
     inaugural, inauguration, initiation, inspection, institution,
     intentiveness, intentness, invigilation, jubilee, keeping, line,
     liturgy, looking, lookout, love of God, loyalty, malleability,
     manner, manners, mark, marking the occasion, memorialization,
     memory, mind, mindfulness, mode of worship, monitoring, mores,
     mummery, mystery, note, notice, obedience, obediency, obeying,
     observation, observing, office, order of worship, ordinance,
     orthodoxy, ovation, peeled eye, performance, pietism, piety,
     piousness, pliancy, practice, praxis, prescribed form,
     prescription, proctoring, proper thing, prosecution, prudence,
     qui vive, recognition, reconcilement, reconciliation, regard,
     regardfulness, rejoicing, religion, religionism,
     religious ceremony, religious rites, religiousness, remark,
     remembrance, respect, respecting, revel, reverence, rite,
     rite de passage, rite of passage, ritual, ritual observance,
     rituality, sacrament, sacramental, salute, salvo, scrutiny,
     service, servility, servitium, sharp eye, social convention,
     solemn observance, solemnity, solemnization, spying,
     standard behavior, standard usage, standing custom, stewardship,
     strictness, submission, submissiveness, suit and service,
     suit service, surveillance, testimonial, testimonial banquet,
     testimonial dinner, theism, thought, time-honored practice, toast,
     tradition, traditionalism, transaction, tribute, triumph,
     uniformity, usage, use, veneration, viewing, vigil, vigilance,
     wariness, watch, watch and ward, watchful eye, watchfulness,
     watching, way, weather eye, what is done, willingness, witnessing,
     wont, wonting, worship, worshipfulness

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