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watchman

[ woch-muh n ]
/ ˈwɒtʃ mən /
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noun, plural watch·men.

a person who keeps guard over a building at night, to protect it from fire, vandals, or thieves.
(formerly) a person who guards or patrols the streets at night.

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RELATED WORDS

caretaker, patrolman, warden, custodian, policeman, lookout, detective, patrol, observer, picket, ranger, sentry, watch, curator, watcher, spy, keeper, guard, scout, sentinel

Nearby words

watchful, watchfully, watchless, watchlist, watchmaker, watchman, watchmanly, watchout, watchstrap, watchtower, watchword

Origin of watchman

late Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at watch, man1
Related formswatch·man·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for watchman

British Dictionary definitions for watchman

watchman

/ (ˈwɒtʃmən) /

noun plural -men

a person employed to guard buildings or property
(formerly) a man employed to patrol or guard the streets at night
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

Word Origin and History for watchman

watchman


n.

also watch-man, c.1400, "guard, sentinel, lookout" (late 12c. as a surname), figuratively "guardian, protector" (mid-15c.), from watch (n.) + man (n.). Also "person characterized by wakefulness" (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper