A man checks the time on his watch.
- The definition of a watch is a small time piece worn on the wrist or carried in a pocket.
An example of a watch is what someone would wear on their wrist to tell time.
- To watch is defined as to stay awake, be alert, observe carefully or look after.
An example of to watch is paying attention to a baby while they play.
- the act or fact of keeping awake, esp. of keeping awake and alert, in order to look after, protect, or guard
- any of the several periods into which the night was divided in ancient times
- a part of the night: the still watches of the night
- close observation for a time, in order to see or find out something
- the act or process of vigilant, careful guarding: to keep watch over a house
- a person or group on duty, esp. at night, to protect or guard; lookout or guard
- the period of duty of a guard
- the post of a guard
- a small timepiece designed to be carried in the pocket or worn on the wrist, as a pendant, etc.
- a vigil; wake
- Obsolete a candle marked off into sections, used for keeping time
- Obsolete a watchman's cry
- any of the periods of duty (five of four hours, and two of two hours) into which the day is divided on shipboard, so that the work is shared among alternating shifts of the crew
- the part of the crew on duty during any such period
- a ship's chronometer
Origin of watchMiddle English wacche ; from Old English wæcce ; from base of wacian: see wake
- to stay awake, esp. at night, so as to pray and meditate
- to stay awake and alert at night; care for or guard something at night
- to be on the alert; be on the lookout
- to look or observe, esp. attentively
- to be looking or waiting attentively: with for: to watch for one's chance
- to guard
- to keep looking at; observe carefully and constantly
- to view mentally; keep informed about
- to be on the alert for; wait for and look for: to watch one's chance
- to keep watch over or tend (a flock, a baby, etc.)
on the watch
verbwatched, watch·ing, watch·es
- To look or observe attentively or carefully; be closely observant: watching for trail markers.
- To look and wait expectantly or in anticipation: watch for an opportunity.
- To act as a spectator; look on: stood by the road and watched.
- To stay awake at night while serving as a guard, sentinel, or watcher.
- To stay alert as a devotional or religious exercise; keep vigil.
- To look at steadily; observe carefully or continuously: watch a parade.
- To guard, keep surveillance on, or spy on: watched the prisoner all day; watched the house to see who came and went.
- To observe the course of mentally; keep up on or informed about: watch the price of gold.
- To pay close attention to or be careful about, especially with regard to propriety: watched his manners.
- To tend or take care of (a flock or children, for example). See Synonyms at tend2.
- The act or process of keeping awake or mentally alert, especially for the purpose of guarding.
- a. The act of observing closely or the condition of being closely observed; surveillance.b. A period of close observation, often in order to discover something: a watch during the child's illness.
- A person or group of people serving, especially at night, to guard or protect.
- The post or period of duty of a guard, sentinel, or watcher.
- Any of the periods into which the night is divided; a part of the night.
- Nautical a. Any of the periods of time, usually four hours, into which the day aboard ship is divided and during which a part of the crew is assigned to duty.b. The members of a ship's crew on duty during a specific watch.c. A chronometer on a ship.
- a. A period of wakefulness, especially one observed as a religious vigil.b. A funeral wake.
- A small portable timepiece, especially one worn on the wrist or carried in the pocket.
- A flock of nightingales.
Origin of watchMiddle English wacchen, from Old English wæccan, to watch, be awake; see weg- in Indo-European roots.
- A portable or wearable timepiece.
- More people today carry a watch on their wrists than in their pockets.
- The act of guarding and observing someone or something.
- A particular time period when guarding is kept.
- The second watch of the night began at midnight.
- A person or group of people who guard.
- The watch stopped the travelers at the city gates.
- The post or office of a watchman; also, the place where a watchman is posted, or where a guard is kept.
- (nautical) A group of sailors and officers aboard a ship or shore station with a common period of duty: starboard watch, port watch.
- (nautical) 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).
- The act of seeing, or viewing, for a period of time.
As a noun, from Middle English wacche, from Old English wÃ¦Ä‹Ä‹e. See below for verb form.
(third-person singular simple present watches, present participle watching, simple past and past participle watched)
- 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.
- 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.
- To mind, attend, or guard.
- Please watch my suitcase for a minute.
- He has to watch the kids that afternoon.
- To be wary or cautious of.
- You should watch that guy. He has a reputation for lying.
- To attend to dangers to or regarding.
- Watch your head.; Watch your step.
- Watch yourself when you talk to him.
- Watch what you say.
- (intransitive) To remain awake with a sick or dying person; to maintain a vigil.
- (intransitive) To be vigilant or on one's guard.
- For some must watch, while some must sleep: So runs the world away.
- (intransitive) To act as a lookout.
- (nautical, of a buoy) To serve the purpose of a watchman by floating properly in its place.
- When used transitively to mean look at something, there is an implication that the direct object is something which is capable of changing.
As a verb, from Middle English wacchen, from Old English wÃ¦Ä‹Ä‹an (from the same root as its synonym and doublet wacian, which lead to wake in modern English), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *wakÅnÄ…, *wakjanÄ…. Cognate with West Frisian weitsje (“to wake, watch"), Dutch waken (“to wake, watch"), German wachen (“to wake, watch").