- to be alertly on the lookout, look attentively, or observe, as to see what comes, is done, or happens: to watch while an experiment is performed.
- to look or wait attentively and expectantly (usually followed by for): to watch for a signal; to watch for an opportunity.
- to be careful or cautious: Watch when you cross the street.
- to keep awake, especially for a purpose; remain vigilant, as for protection or safekeeping: to watch with a sick person.
- to keep vigil, as for devotional purposes.
- to keep guard: She was assigned to watch at the door.
- to keep under attentive view or observation, as in order to see or learn something; view attentively or with interest: to watch a play; to watch a football game.
- to contemplate or regard mentally: to watch his progress.
- to look or wait attentively and expectantly for: to watch one's opportunity.
- to guard, tend, or oversee, especially for protection or safekeeping: to watch the baby.
- close, continuous observation for the purpose of seeing or discovering something: Their watch for the birds was unrewarding.
- vigilant guard, as for protection or restraint: to keep watch for prowlers.
- a keeping awake for some special purpose: a watch beside a sickbed.
- a period of time for watching or keeping guard: to stand the first watch.
- a small, portable timepiece, as a wrist watch or pocket watch.
- a chronometer.
- a period of time, usually four hours, during which one part of a ship's crew is on duty, taking turns with another part.
- the officers and crew who attend to the working of a ship for an allotted period of time.
- one of the periods, usually three or four, into which the night was divided in ancient times, as by the Greeks or Hebrews: the fourth watch of the night.
- a person or group that watches, as a lookout, guard, or sentinel: A watch was posted at sunset.
- Also called storm watch. Meteorology. an announcement from the U.S. National Weather Service alerting the public that dangerous weather conditions are a possibility and that vigilance and precautionary preparations are advised: hurricane watch, tornado watch.Compare advisory(def 5), warning(def 3).
- a flock of nightingales.
- watch out, to be on one's guard; be cautious: Watch out for cars when you cross the road.
- watch over, to guard for protection or safekeeping: She watched over us like a mother hen over her brood.
- on the watch, vigilant; alert: The hunter was on the watch for game.
- watch oneself,
- to be cautious.
- to practice discretion or self-restraint.
Origin of watch
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for watches
Sam watches her fall apart, tear herself apart and is desperate.Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook
December 19, 2014
Instead, he made a pick up of jewelry and watches worth nearly $2 million.How to Get Away With Stealing $2 Million in Jewelry in the Heart of New York
November 13, 2014
Flash says it after watching Arrow swing off a rooftop; Arrow says it seconds later as he watches Flash run away.‘The Flash’ Review: Teen Angst Gets a Comic Book Quickie
October 7, 2014
Anyone who watches Milk is bound to be moved by the injustice suffered by the gay community and the courage of Harvey Milk.Catholic University’s Harvey Milk Ban Reflects A Church In Transition
October 3, 2014
"That's not going to work," you say to Hassan, who also watches the scene.Whatever You Do Someone Will Die. A Short Story About Impossible Choices in Iraq
Nathan Bradley Bethea
August 31, 2014
They possessed no watches but they measured time by the shadow of the sun-dial.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
Betty, I will be frank, there is a great lady who is jealous, and watches you very closely.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
He'll never dare go against his mother and she watches him like a cat.The Greater Inclination
By means of this the boys frequently glanced at their watches.Frank Roscoe's Secret
Beyond this point they have treated the watches as though they had nothing in common.The Auburndale Watch Company
Edwin A. Battison
- to look at or observe closely or attentively
- (intr foll by for) to wait attentively or expectantly
- to guard or tend (something) closely or carefully
- (intr) to keep vigil
- (tr) to maintain an interest into watch the progress of a child at school
- watch it! be careful! look out!
- a small portable timepiece, usually worn strapped to the wrist (a wristwatch) or in a waistcoat pocket
- (as modifier)a watch spring
- the act or an instance of watching
- a period of vigil, esp during the night
- (formerly) one of a set of periods of any of various lengths into which the night was divided
- any of the usually four-hour periods beginning at midnight and again at noon during which part of a ship's crew are on duty
- those officers and crew on duty during a specified watch
- the period during which a guard is on duty
- (formerly) a watchman or band of watchmen
- on the watch on the lookout; alert
Word Origin and History for watches
Old English wæcce "a watching," from wæccan (see watch (v.)). Sense of "sentinel" is recorded from c.1300; that of "person or group officially patroling a town (especially at night) to keep order, etc." is first recorded 1530s. Meaning "period of time in which a division of a ship's crew remains on deck" is from 1580s. Sense of "period into which a night was divided in ancient times" translates Latin vigilia, Greek phylake, Hebrew ashmoreth.
The Hebrews divided the night into three watches, the Greeks usually into four (sometimes five), the Romans (followed by the Jews in New Testament times) into four. [OED]
The meaning "small timepiece" is from 1580s, developing from that of "a clock to wake up sleepers" (mid-15c.).
Old English wæccan "keep watch, be awake," from Proto-Germanic *wakojan; essentially the same word as Old English wacian "be or remain awake" (see wake (v.)); perhaps a Northumbrian form. Meaning "be vigilant" is from c.1200. That of "to guard (someone or some place), stand guard" is late 14c. Sense of "to observe, keep under observance" is mid-15c. Related: Watched; watching.