watchword

[woch-wurd]
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noun
  1. a word or short phrase to be communicated, on challenge, to a sentinel or guard; password or countersign.
  2. a word or phrase expressive of a principle or rule of action; slogan: Conservation has been our watchword.
  3. a rallying cry of a party, club, team, etc.

Origin of watchword

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at watch, word

Synonyms for watchword

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1, 2. shibboleth. 3. motto.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for watchword

parole, slogan, signal, cry, countersign, sign, shibboleth, password

Examples from the Web for watchword

Contemporary Examples of watchword

Historical Examples of watchword


British Dictionary definitions for watchword

watchword

noun
  1. another word for password
  2. a rallying cry or slogan
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 watchword
n.

also watch-word, c.1400, "password," from watch (n.) in the military sense of "period of standing guard duty" + word (n.). In the sense of "motto, slogan" it dates from 1738.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper