- a word or short phrase to be communicated, on challenge, to a sentinel or guard; password or countersign.
- a word or phrase expressive of a principle or rule of action; slogan: Conservation has been our watchword.
- a rallying cry of a party, club, team, etc.
Origin of watchword
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. shibboleth. 3. motto.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for watchword
The refusal to compromise is a watchword of their candidates who wear it as a badge of pride.The Tea Party Isn’t a Political Movement, It’s a Religious One
July 13, 2014
Rather, it seems as though “crony capitalism” is the watchword for this administration.The Rich Get Richer: Obama-Style Crony Capitalism
March 3, 2013
Especially after the oil crisis, “the watchword was reasonableness.”Space Shuttle Enterprise: Flashback to an Icon of ‘70s Design
July 18, 2012
(The term “captology” is acronymically derived from their watchword: Computers As Persuasive Technology).Facebook’s Organ-Donor Option Sounds Good, but Should We Be Paranoid About Privacy?
May 2, 2012
Boldness is the watchword here, both in terms of the artwork on display and Work of Art itself.Bravo’s Addictive ‘Work of Art’
November 30, 2011
Extirpation has been the watchword with which Caucasian Christianity has gone about the world.The Conquest of Fear
It is too well understood by those who know me that I have Equality for my watchword.Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
It is the watchword of the most thickly coppered Copperheads.
Such ought to be the watchword for a long, long time to come.
And to nerve our arms a woman's honour, and to guide us aright, the watchword: "Home!"The House Under the Sea
Sir Max Pemberton
- another word for password
- a rallying cry or slogan
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
Word Origin and History for watchword
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper