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.
- watch and ward,
- watch cap,
- watch chain,
- watch committee,
- watch fire
- to be cautious.
- to practice discretion or self-restraint.
Origin of watch
Examples from the Web for watches
Sam watches her fall apart, tear herself apart and is desperate.
Instead, he made a pick up of jewelry and watches worth nearly $2 million.How to Get Away With Stealing $2 Million in Jewelry in the Heart of New York|John Surico|November 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Flash says it after watching Arrow swing off a rooftop; Arrow says it seconds later as he watches Flash run away.‘The Flash’ Review: Teen Angst Gets a Comic Book Quickie|Sujay Kumar|October 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
"That's not going to work," you say to Hassan, who also watches the scene.Whatever You Do Someone Will Die. A Short Story About Impossible Choices in Iraq|Nathan Bradley Bethea|August 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
So, Brody is publicly hanged as his ex-lover, Carrie, watches on.Exclusive Look: ‘Homeland’ Season 4, Featuring the Music of Lorde|Marlow Stern|August 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Over six thousand well-fed spectators pulled out their watches and timed the entrée.H. R.|Edwin Lefevre
And in the watches of the night there came A bright and wondrous vision on his mind.p.A Leaf from the Old Forest|J. D. Cossar
It was the first time he had confessed that to any one, except to himself in the night watches.The Castle Inn|Stanley John Weyman
Small, gorgeous, and intense, she sits in the strange den and watches the old wizard set about his work.Browning's Heroines|Ethel Colburn Mayne
That is why Aarsu, whom he has won over to his cause, watches you so strictly.Joshua, Complete|Georg Ebers
- 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 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.).
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.
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)