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
Related Words for watchestimepiece, wristwatch, stare, listen, look, attend, scan, regard, see, observe, scrutinize, follow, wait, examine, view, keep, chronometer, stopwatch, ticker, timer
Examples from the Web for watches
Contemporary Examples of watches
Sam watches her fall apart, tear herself apart and is desperate.Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook
December 19, 2014
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
November 13, 2014
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
October 7, 2014
Anyone who watches Milk is bound to be moved by the injustice suffered by the gay community and the courage of Harvey Milk.Catholic University’s Harvey Milk Ban Reflects A Church In Transition
October 3, 2014
"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
Historical Examples of watches
They possessed no watches but they measured time by the shadow of the sun-dial.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
Betty, I will be frank, there is a great lady who is jealous, and watches you very closely.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
He'll never dare go against his mother and she watches him like a cat.The Greater Inclination
By means of this the boys frequently glanced at their watches.Frank Roscoe's Secret
The market for watches, which had been depressed, was at this time reviving a little.The Auburndale Watch Company
Edwin A. Battison
- 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)