View synonyms for watch


[ woch ]

verb (used without object)

  1. to be alertly on the lookout, look attentively, or observe, as to see what comes, is done, or happens:

    to watch while an experiment is performed.

  2. to look or wait attentively and expectantly (usually followed by for ):

    to watch for a signal;

    to watch for an opportunity.

  3. to be careful or cautious:

    Watch when you cross the street.

  4. to keep awake, especially for a purpose; remain vigilant, as for protection or safekeeping:

    to watch with a sick person.

  5. to keep vigil, as for devotional purposes.
  6. to keep guard:

    She was assigned to watch at the door.

verb (used with object)

  1. to keep under attentive view or observation, as in order to see or learn something; view attentively or with interest: to watch a football game.

    to watch a play;

    to watch a football game.

  2. to contemplate or regard mentally:

    to watch his progress.

  3. to look or wait attentively and expectantly for:

    to watch one's opportunity.

    Synonyms: await

  4. to guard, tend, or oversee, especially for protection or safekeeping:

    to watch the baby.

    Synonyms: protect


  1. close, continuous observation for the purpose of seeing or discovering something:

    Their watch for the birds was unrewarding.

    Synonyms: attention, inspection

  2. vigilant guard, as for protection or restraint:

    to keep watch for prowlers.

    Synonyms: vigil

  3. a keeping awake for some special purpose:

    a watch beside a sickbed.

  4. a period of time for watching or keeping guard:

    to stand the first watch.

  5. a small, portable timepiece, as a wrist watch or pocket watch.
  6. Nautical.
    1. a period of time, usually four hours, during which one part of a ship's crew is on duty, taking turns with another part.
    2. the officers and crew who attend to the working of a ship for an allotted period of time.
  7. one of the periods, usually three or four, into which the night was divided in ancient times, as by the Greeks or Hebrews:

    the fourth watch of the night.

  8. a person or group that watches, as a lookout, guard, or sentinel:

    A watch was posted at sunset.

  9. Also called storm watch. Meteorology. an announcement from the U.S. National Weather Service alerting the public that dangerous weather conditions are a possibility and that vigilance and precautionary preparations are advised: tornado watch. Compare advisory ( def 5 ), warning ( def 3 ).

    hurricane watch;

    tornado watch.

  10. a flock of nightingales.

verb phrase

  1. to be on one's guard; be cautious:

    Watch out for cars when you cross the road.

  2. to guard for protection or safekeeping:

    She watched over us like a mother hen over her brood.




  1. indicating a regular television programme or newspaper feature on the topic specified




/ wɒtʃ /


  1. to look at or observe closely or attentively
  2. intrfoll byfor to wait attentively or expectantly
  3. to guard or tend (something) closely or carefully
  4. intr to keep vigil
  5. tr to maintain an interest in

    to watch the progress of a child at school

  6. watch it!
    be careful! look out!


    1. a small portable timepiece, usually worn strapped to the wrist (a wristwatch ) or in a waistcoat pocket
    2. ( as modifier )

      a watch spring

  1. the act or an instance of watching
  2. a period of vigil, esp during the night
  3. (formerly) one of a set of periods of any of various lengths into which the night was divided
  4. nautical
    1. 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
    2. those officers and crew on duty during a specified watch
  5. the period during which a guard is on duty
  6. (formerly) a watchman or band of watchmen
  7. on the watch
    on the lookout; alert

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Other Words From

  • un·watched adjective
  • un·watching adjective
  • well-watched adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of watch1

First recorded before 900; 1580–90 watch fordef 15; (verb) Middle English wacchen, Old English wæccan, doublet of wacian “to be awake”; (noun) Middle English wacche, Old English wæcce, derivative of wæccan; wake 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of watch1

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

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. on the watch, vigilant; alert:

    The hunter was on the watch for game.

  2. watch oneself,
    1. to be cautious.
    2. to practice discretion or self-restraint.

More idioms and phrases containing watch

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

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Synonym Study

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.

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Example Sentences

To take an SpO2 reading, there’s an app on the watch that triggers the 15-second process.

From Fortune

The new program is a boon to Apple since it’s an added incentive for Singaporeans to purchase the brand’s watch.

From Fortune

Smart watches and fitness trackers have transformed the world of exercise, spawning a generation of active tech users.

Amazon says that the watch will intermittently listen throughout the day, or you can specifically trigger it to listen for up to 30 minutes by pressing the button.

I run with an Apple Watch and AirPods, because the watch stores my running playlist.

Clad in a blue, striped button-down, a silver watch adorning his left wrist, Huckabee beams on the cover.

People watch night soaps because the genre allows them to believe in a world where people just react off their baser instincts.

I watch every episode alone on my couch and I just sit there and laugh, and laugh.

Angry Birds at its simplest was the same way, though you wanted to watch things collapse and explode.

The inability to do anything besides binge-watch entire seasons on Netflix.

I seized the opportunity to watch what I supposed would be a most interesting interview, from behind a curtain.

He produced a watch and studied it frowningly, then dismissed us and the recital of our troubles with a ponderous gesture.

He is a hypochondriac now and would keep a close watch on his heir's health and habits; you may be sure of that.

He heard Mohammedans alluding to a Brahmin as a leader—so might a wolf and a snake make common alliance against a watch dog.

His duty it was to stand at the head of the scalding trough, watch in hand, to "time" the length of the scald, crying "Hog in!"


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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