keep watch

Also, keep a watch or close watch on; watch over. Observe with continuous attention, especially to act as a sentinel or for protection. For example, Afraid that the wolves would return, she kept watch while the others slept, or They kept a close watch on the harbor, looking for signs of enemy ships, or, according to the Gospel of St. Luke (2:8): “And there were in the same country shepherds ... keeping watch over their flock by night.” [Late 1300s] Also see keep an eye out for.

Nearby words

  1. keep track,
  2. keep under,
  3. keep under one's hat,
  4. keep under wraps,
  5. keep up,
  6. keep your . . .,
  7. keeper,
  8. keeper hook,
  9. keeper ring,
  10. keeping

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.