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deathwatch

[ deth-woch, -wawch ]
/ ˈdɛθˌwɒtʃ, -ˌwɔtʃ /
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noun
a vigil beside a dying or dead person.
a guard set over a condemned person before execution.
Also called deathwatch beetle. any of several beetles of the family Anobiidae that make a ticking sound as they bore through wood: the sound was once believed to be an omen of death.
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Origin of deathwatch

First recorded in 1660–70; death + watch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use deathwatch in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for deathwatch

deathwatch
/ (ˈdɛθˌwɒtʃ) /

noun
a vigil held beside a dying or dead person
deathwatch beetle a beetle, Xestobium rufovillosum, whose woodboring larvae are a serious pest. The adult produces a rapid tapping sound with its head that was once popularly supposed to presage deathSee also anobiid
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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