Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

watchman

[woch-muh n] /ˈwɒtʃ mən/
noun, plural watchmen.
1.
a person who keeps guard over a building at night, to protect it from fire, vandals, or thieves.
2.
(formerly) a person who guards or patrols the streets at night.
Origin of watchman
late Middle English
1350-1400
late Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at watch, man1
Related forms
watchmanly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for watchmen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There were watchmen, she knew, who went the rounds of every floor.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • One of the watchmen was on the string-piece, and saw the whole thing.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Then there were the watchmen, “who cried the hour and weather all night long.”

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • They are shut up, and Luke Mickleroyd and the other watchmen are in charge.

    Sarah's School Friend

    May Baldwin
  • The Prince, and the Count without knowing it, figured as watchmen.

    The Young Duke Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for watchmen

watchman

/ˈwɒtʃmən/
noun (pl) -men
1.
a person employed to guard buildings or property
2.
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for watchmen

watchman

n.

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for watchman

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for watchmen

18
20
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for watchmen