Idioms

    on the watch, vigilant; alert: The hunter was on the watch for game.
    watch oneself,
    1. to be cautious.
    2. to practice discretion or self-restraint.

Origin of watch

before 900; 1580–90 for def 15; (v.) Middle English wacchen, Old English wæccan, doublet of wacian to be awake (see wake1); (noun) Middle English wacche, Old English wæcce, derivative of wæccan

SYNONYMS FOR watch

1 Watch, look, see imply being aware of things around one by perceiving them through the eyes. To watch is to be a spectator, to look on or observe, or to fix the attention upon during passage of time: to watch while a procession passes. To look is to direct the gaze with the intention of seeing, to use the eyesight with attention: to look for violets in the spring; to look at articles displayed for sale. To see is to perceive with the eyes, to obtain a visual impression, with or without fixing the attention: animals able to see in the dark.
9 await.
10 protect.
11 inspection, attention.
12 vigil.

Related forms

un·watched, adjectiveun·watch·ing, adjectivewell-watched, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for on the watch

watch

/ (wɒtʃ) /

verb


noun

See also watch out

Word Origin for watch

Old English wæccan (vb), wæcce (n); related to wake 1
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

Idioms and Phrases with on the watch (1 of 2)

on the watch

see on the lookout.


Idioms and Phrases with on the watch (2 of 2)

watch

In addition to the idioms beginning with watch

  • watched pot never boils, a
  • watch it
  • watch like a hawk
  • watch my dust
  • watch one's step
  • watch out
  • watch over

also see:

  • keep watch
  • look (watch) out
  • on the lookout (watch)

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