• synonyms

watch night

  1. the last night of the year, observed in a watch meeting.
  2. watch meeting.
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Origin of watch night

First recorded in 1735–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for watch night

Historical Examples

  • Then he remembered the watch-night service Bethany had asked him to attend.

    In League with Israel

    Annie F. Johnston

  • Why should we be ashamed of watch-night services and good resolutions?


    (AKA Alpha of the Plough) Alfred George Gardiner

  • My men and I were on our way to watch-night service, and saw it all from a distance.

    The Laughing Cavalier

    Baroness Orczy

  • We leave the conscience-stricken victim whilst we relate the result of Robin's watch-night at the mill.

  • You remember, too, that my announcement for the watch-night service informed you that we should watch in the new year.

British Dictionary definitions for watch night

watch night

noun (in Protestant churches)
    1. the night of December 24, during which a service is held to mark the arrival of Christmas Day
    2. the night of December 31, during which a service is held to mark the passing of the old year and the beginning of the new
  1. the service held on either of these nights
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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