mon·​i·​tor | \ ˈmä-nə-tər How to pronounce monitor (audio) \

Definition of monitor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a student appointed to assist a teacher
b : one that warns or instructs monitors and instructors for troops green in the art of warNew York Times
c : one that monitors or is used in monitoring: such as
(1) : an electronic device with a screen used for display (as of television pictures or computer information)
(2) : a device for observing a biological condition or function a heart monitor
3 [Monitor, first ship of the type]
a : a heavily armored warship formerly used in coastal operations having a very low freeboard and one or more revolving gun turrets
b : a small modern warship with shallow draft (see draft entry 1 sense 8) for coastal bombardment
4 : a raised central portion of a roof having low windows or louvers for providing light and air


monitored; monitoring\ ˈmä-​nə-​t(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce monitor (audio) \

Definition of monitor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to watch, keep track of, or check usually for a special purpose Nurses monitored the patient's heart rate.

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Other Words from monitor


monitorial \ ˌmä-​nə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce monitor (audio) \ adjective
monitorship \ ˈmä-​nə-​tər-​ˌship How to pronounce monitor (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for monitor

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of monitor in a Sentence

Noun They watched the press conference on a video monitor in a back room. We put a baby monitor in the nursery. U.N. weapons monitors and inspectors. Verb Nurses constantly monitored the patient's heart rate. We're in a good position to monitor and respond to customer concerns. Government agents have been monitoring the enemy's radio communications.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For example, Dell is offering a video-conferencing friendly monitor that is easy to adjust and swivel to get the optimum angle for video calls, complete with a high resolution webcam. Mae Anderson, ajc, "5 CES Trends to Watch," 12 Jan. 2021 David Vidoni, vice president of information technology at Pegasystems Inc., said at the beginning of the pandemic his desk comprised a folding card table, a folding chair and a monitor placed on a couple reams of paper. Jared Council, WSJ, "For CIOs, There’s No Place Like Home (Office)," 31 Dec. 2020 Add some vintage vibes to the bedroom or office with this Apple Watch stand, which looks like a classic Mac monitor. Julianne Ross, CNN Underscored, "Underscored’s bestselling Amazon products of 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 This will unequivocally be a television or a computer monitor, as the small screens on phones, tablets, and smart displays are just not big enough to do justice to this resolution. David Nield, Popular Science, "How to get a true 4K experience on Netflix," 17 Dec. 2020 Hawkins — who worked in the public schools as a safety monitor and then as a tow-truck dispatcher — was African American, a population that has suffered disproportionately from the virus. Marc Fisher, Washington Post, "Covid’s U.S. toll: Nearly 300,000 dead and a stalemate between fatalism and hope," 12 Dec. 2020 Now Camacho, like so many mothers, is a caretaker, teacher, housekeeper, cook and homework monitor, determined to get her family through the crisis. Los Angeles Times, "They know the pain of online learning. Here’s what teachers, parents and students did about it," 1 Dec. 2020 The journalist’s job is to provide transparency, not to worry about elections or be society’s hall monitor. David Harsanyi, National Review, "About That ‘Uncoverable’ Biden Story," 28 Oct. 2020 Nguyen was a poll monitor at the Infinite Energy Center arena for the primary and did not leave until the final votes were cast, well after polls closed at 7 p.m. Stephen Fowler, ProPublica, "Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have to Wait in Line for Hours? Their Numbers Have Soared, and Their Polling Places Have Dwindled.," 17 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Be sure to monitor your plant’s moisture levels, as well, as plants may not need as much watering in the winter. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "Scrub Hub: What should I do to keep my plants alive during the winter?," 12 Jan. 2021 Current health watches can monitor vital signs, oxygen saturation, glycemic indices, exercise patterns and symptoms experienced, with emerging continuous sensors targeting molecular analytes. Members Of The Oncology Think Tank, Scientific American, "We Must Find Ways to Detect Cancer Much Earlier," 8 Jan. 2021 These monitor employees at an individual level, once their virtual commute has reached its destination. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The Perpetual Disappointment of Remote Work," 4 Jan. 2021 In a normal year, Joniak can monitor what’s happening on the sideline, how the vibe in the stadium is affecting things. Dan Wiederer,, "Broadcasting road games from a kitchen. Cobwebs in the seats. For Jeff Joniak, voice of the Chicago Bears, Season 20 has been unlike any other.," 31 Dec. 2020 As part of the deal, a European agency will monitor sea and air arrivals in Gibraltar. New York Times, "Gibraltar Gets Its Own Last-Minute Brexit Deal on Borders," 31 Dec. 2020 Each morning in the Operations Center, university leaders monitor, campus by campus, how many tests are being performed and the results of those tests. Tommy G. Thompson, STAT, "Routine testing is essential to combat Covid-19 surges," 24 Dec. 2020 The tribes received a $250,000 grant from the federal Bureau of Reclamation last year to upgrade the technology of the irrigation system, which CRIT officials said will better monitor the flows, helping to save water. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, "Colorado River tribes seek approval from Congress to put water on the market in Arizona," 24 Dec. 2020 Basically, a health emergency meant the governor could authorize his health department to impose and monitor restrictions. John Brummett, Arkansas Online, "Ledge chomping at the bit," 3 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monitor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of monitor


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1924, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for monitor

Noun and Verb

Latin, one that warns, overseer, from monēre to warn — more at mind

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Time Traveler for monitor

Time Traveler

The first known use of monitor was in 1530

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Statistics for monitor

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monitor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for monitor


How to pronounce monitor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of monitor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device that shows information or images on a screen
: a device that is used to listen to sounds being made in another room
: a device that shows and records information about a condition or function of the body



English Language Learners Definition of monitor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to watch, observe, listen to, or check (something) for a special purpose over a period of time


mon·​i·​tor | \ ˈmä-nə-tər How to pronounce monitor (audio) \

Kids Definition of monitor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a video screen used for display (as of television pictures or computer information)
2 : a student in a school picked for a special duty (as keeping order)
3 : a person or thing that watches or checks something a heart monitor


monitored; monitoring

Kids Definition of monitor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to watch or check for a special reason Nurses monitored the patient's heart rate.


mon·​i·​tor | \ ˈmän-ət-ər How to pronounce monitor (audio) \

Medical Definition of monitor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that monitors especially : a device for observing or measuring a biologically important condition or function a heart monitor
monitored; monitoring\ ˈmän-​ət-​ə-​riŋ, ˈmän-​ə-​triŋ How to pronounce monitor (audio) \

Medical Definition of monitor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to watch, observe, or check closely or continuously monitor a patient's vital signs
2 : to test for intensity of radiations especially if due to radioactivity

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Comments on monitor

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