- 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.
Origin of watchman
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for watchmen
The body lay in an aboveground marble sarcophagus guarded by no groundskeepers or watchmen, just one lonely padlock.Invasion of the Celebrity Body Snatchers, From Charlie Chaplin to Casey Kasem
July 19, 2014
And in doing so, Ghostery gives you the ability to go dark—or at least helps you watch the watchmen.Surf Better With These 9 Killer Google Chrome Extensions
December 11, 2013
“They are the watchmen,” said Dave Zirin, author of Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down.Deadspin Rides Manti Te’o Hoax Story to Renown—and Keeps Heat on ESPN
February 5, 2013
The first is that fully realizing the power and value of the Watchmen brand and characters requires leaving them alone.
Is DC Comics' Watchmen reboot an insult to the comic's creator, and the company's canon?
There were watchmen, she knew, who went the rounds of every floor.The Trail Book
One of the watchmen was on the string-piece, and saw the whole thing.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
Then there were the watchmen, “who cried the hour and weather all night long.”Memoirs
Charles Godfrey Leland
They are shut up, and Luke Mickleroyd and the other watchmen are in charge.Sarah's School Friend
The Prince, and the Count without knowing it, figured as watchmen.The Young Duke
- 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 watchmen
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper