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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Observatory \Ob*serv"a*to*ry\, n.; pl. Observatories. [Cf. F. observatoire.] 1. A place or building for making observations on the heavenly bodies. [1913 Webster] The new observatory in Greenwich Park. --Evelyn. [1913 Webster] 2. A building fitted with instruments for making systematic observations of any particular class or series of natural phenomena. [1913 Webster] 3. A place, as an elevated chamber, from which a view may be observed or commanded. [1913 Webster] 4. (Mil.) A lookout on a flank of a battery whence an officer can note the range and effect of the fire; usually referred to as an observation post. --Farrow. [1913 Webster +PJC]