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90s Slang You Should Know


[woch-muh n] /ˈwɒtʃ mən/
noun, plural watchmen.
a person who keeps guard over a building at night, to protect it from fire, vandals, or thieves.
(formerly) a person who guards or patrols the streets at night.
Origin of watchman
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at watch, man1
Related forms
watchmanly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for watchman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What was the exact time at which the watchman's watch stopped?

    Amusements in Mathematics Henry Ernest Dudeney
  • The journalist occupies the position of a watchman upon a tower.

    The Price of a Soul William Jennings Bryan
  • But she found the night watchman making coffee in a back pantry, and gave him her message.

    Love Stories Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • The night watchman finally had to let them in and he reported them.

    Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester
  • At the door of this chamber they found Peyrou, the watchman, who anxiously awaited news from his old captain.

    The Knight of Malta Eugene Sue
British Dictionary definitions for watchman


noun (pl) -men
a person employed to guard buildings or property
(formerly) a man employed to patrol or guard the streets at night
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for watchman

also watch-man, c.1400, "guard, sentinel, lookout" (late 12c. as a surname), figuratively "guardian, protector" (mid-15c.), from watch (n.) + man (n.). Also "person characterized by wakefulness" (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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