[ woch-dawg, -dog ]
See synonyms for watchdog on
  1. a dog kept to guard property.

  2. a watchful guardian: a self-appointed watchdog of the public morals.

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a watchdog.

  2. organized or functioning as a watchful guardian, especially against illegal or unethical conduct: a watchdog group in the legislature.

verb (used with object),watch·dogged, watch·dog·ging.
  1. to watch carefully, especially so as to detect illegal or unethical conduct.

Origin of watchdog

First recorded in 1600–10; watch + dog

Words Nearby watchdog Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use watchdog in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for watchdog


/ (ˈwɒtʃˌdɒɡ) /

  1. a dog kept to guard property

    • a person or group of persons that acts as a protector or guardian against inefficiency, illegal practices, etc

    • (as modifier): a watchdog committee

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