• (RP) IPA: /wɒt͡ʃ/
  • (America) IPA: /wɔt͡ʃ/, /wɑt͡ʃ/

watch (plural watches)

  1. A portable or wearable timepiece.
    More people today carry a watch on their wrists than in their pockets.
  2. The act of guarding and observing someone or something.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 12”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      shepherds keeping watch by night
    • 1717, Joseph Addison, Metamorphoses
      All the long night their mournful watch they keep.
  3. A particular time period when guarding is kept.
    The second watch of the night began at midnight.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene v]:
      I did stand my watch upon the hill.
    • 1634 October 9 (first performance), [John Milton], H[enry] Lawes, editor, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: […] [Comus], London: Printed [by Augustine Matthews] for Hvmphrey Robinson, […], published 1637, OCLC 228715864 ↗; reprinted as Comus: […] (Dodd, Mead & Company’s Facsimile Reprints of Rare Books; Literature Series; no. I), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1903, OCLC 1113942837 ↗:
      Might we but hear […] / Or whistle from the lodge, or village cock / Count the night watches to his feathery dames.
  4. A person or group of people who guard.
    The watch stopped the travelers at the city gates.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Matthew 27:65 ↗:
      Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch; go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
  5. The post or office of a watchman; also, the place where a watchman is posted, or where a guard is kept.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene ii]:
      He upbraids Iago, that he made him / Brave me upon the watch.
  6. (nautical) A group of sailors and officers aboard a ship or shore station with a common period of duty: starboard watch, port watch.
  7. (nautical) A period of time on duty, usually four hours in length; the officers and crew who tend the working of a vessel during the same watch. (FM 55–501).
  8. The act of seeing, or viewing, for a period of time.
    • 2016, Andrew Bullock, David Brent REVIEW: Life on the Road goes from painfully funny to just plain painful. Ouch (in Sunday Express, 11 August)
      The first third of the film is laugh after laugh; […] But half an hour in and this movie gets unnervingly dark and is an uncomfortable watch at times.
Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Wache
  • Italian: turno di guardia
  • Portuguese: vigia, guarda
  • Russian: ва́хта
Translations Translations
  • French: poste
  • Italian: posto di guardia
  • German: Wache
  • Italian: personale di guardia, personale di sorveglianza, personale di turno
  • Russian: ва́хта
  • Italian: guardia
  • Russian: ва́хта

watch (watches, present participle watching; past and past participle watched)

  1. (transitive) To look at, see, or view for a period of time.
    Watching the clock will not make time go faster.
    I'm tired of watching TV.
  2. (transitive) To observe over a period of time; to notice or pay attention.
    Watch this!
    Put a little baking soda in some vinegar and watch what happens.
  3. (transitive) To mind, attend, or guard.
    Please watch my suitcase for a minute.
    He has to watch the kids that afternoon.
  4. (transitive) To be wary or cautious of.
    You should watch that guy. He has a reputation for lying.
  5. (transitive) To attend to dangers to or regarding.
    watch your head;  watch your step
    Watch yourself when you talk to him.
    Watch what you say.
  6. (intransitive) To remain awake with a sick or dying person; to maintain a vigil.
  7. (intransitive) To be vigilant or on one's guard.
    For some must watch, while some must sleep: So runs the world away.
  8. (intransitive) To act as a lookout.
  9. (nautical, of a buoy) To serve the purpose of a watchman by floating properly in its place.
  10. (obsolete, intransitive) To be awake.
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book X:
      So on the morne Sir Trystram, Sir Gareth and Sir Dynadan arose early and went unto Sir Palomydes chambir, and there they founde hym faste aslepe, for he had all nyght wacched [...].
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: veiller, être vigilant
  • German: wachen
  • Italian: montare la guardia
  • Russian: бдеть

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