verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- a period of time, usually four hours, during which one part of a ship's crew is on duty, taking turns with another part.
- the officers and crew who attend to the working of a ship for an allotted period of time.
- to be cautious.
- to practice discretion or self-restraint.
Origin of watch
Synonyms for watch
Examples from the Web for watch
Contemporary Examples of watch
I watch every episode alone on my couch and I just sit there and laugh, and laugh.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
Angry Birds at its simplest was the same way, though you wanted to watch things collapse and explode.Lost For Thousands of Strokes: 'Desert Golfing' Is 'Angry Birds' as Modern Art
January 2, 2015
Adults prepare food and drink dark sweet tea on the doorsteps of their homes as they watch their children playing.The Brothers Who Ambushed ISIS
Mohammed A. Salih
December 27, 2014
To whet your appetite, you can relive that glorious moment (and watch other programs from the 2014 summit) here.Save the Date: Women in the World 2015
December 23, 2014
Against this backdrop, Paul breaking bread with Sharpton may be too much for Republican primary voters to watch or stomach.GOP Won’t Forgive Rand for Cop Critique
December 23, 2014
Historical Examples of watch
Just sit around and talk wise about me all you want to, but watch.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
"I will wait ten minutes for him," said Haley, taking out his watch.Brave and Bold
Friends had concealed her, and all had been on the watch for Moses.
The brothers must be on the watch, and ready to join her at a moment's warning.
They were much amused at my watch ticking, and all wanted to put their ears to hear it.Explorations in Australia
- a small portable timepiece, usually worn strapped to the wrist (a wristwatch) or in a waistcoat pocket
- (as modifier)a watch spring
- any of the usually four-hour periods beginning at midnight and again at noon during which part of a ship's crew are on duty
- those officers and crew on duty during a specified watch
Word Origin for watch
Old English wæccan "keep watch, be awake," from Proto-Germanic *wakojan; essentially the same word as Old English wacian "be or remain awake" (see wake (v.)); perhaps a Northumbrian form. Meaning "be vigilant" is from c.1200. That of "to guard (someone or some place), stand guard" is late 14c. Sense of "to observe, keep under observance" is mid-15c. Related: Watched; watching.
Old English wæcce "a watching," from wæccan (see watch (v.)). Sense of "sentinel" is recorded from c.1300; that of "person or group officially patroling a town (especially at night) to keep order, etc." is first recorded 1530s. Meaning "period of time in which a division of a ship's crew remains on deck" is from 1580s. Sense of "period into which a night was divided in ancient times" translates Latin vigilia, Greek phylake, Hebrew ashmoreth.
The Hebrews divided the night into three watches, the Greeks usually into four (sometimes five), the Romans (followed by the Jews in New Testament times) into four. [OED]
The meaning "small timepiece" is from 1580s, developing from that of "a clock to wake up sleepers" (mid-15c.).
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
- keep watch
- look (watch) out
- on the lookout (watch)