watch

verb
\ ˈwäch How to pronounce watch (audio) , ˈwȯch\
watched; watching; watches

Definition of watch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to keep vigil as a devotional exercise
b : to be awake during the night
2a : to be attentive or vigilant
b : to keep guard
3a : to keep someone or something under close observation
b : to observe as a spectator the country watched as stocks fell sharply
4 : to be expectant : wait watch for the signal

transitive verb

1 : to keep under guard
2a : to observe closely in order to check on action or change being watched by the police
b : to look at : observe sat and watched the crowd
c : to look on at watch television watch a ball game
3a : to take care of : tend
b : to be careful of watches his diet
4 : to be on the alert for : bide watched her opportunity
watch it
: look out : be careful watch it when you handle the glassware
watch one's step
: to proceed with extreme care : act or talk warily
watch over
: to have charge of : superintend

watch

noun

Definition of watch (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of keeping awake to guard, protect, or attend
b obsolete : the state of being wakeful
c : a wake over a dead body
d : a state of alert and continuous attention
e : close observation : surveillance
f : a notice or bulletin that alerts the public to the possibility of severe weather conditions occurring in the near future a winter storm watch
2a : any of the definite divisions of the night made by ancient peoples
b : one of the indeterminate intervals marking the passage of night usually used in plural the silent watches of the night
b archaic : the office or function of a sentinel or guard
4a : a body of soldiers or sentinels making up a guard
b : a watchman or body of watchmen formerly assigned to patrol the streets of a town at night, announce the hours, and act as police
5a(1) : a portion of time during which a part of a ship's company is on duty
(2) : the part of a ship's company required to be on duty during a particular watch
(3) : a sailor's assigned duty period
b : a period of duty : shift
c : a term as holder especially of an overseeing or managerial office the business grew on her watch
6 : a portable timepiece designed to be worn (as on the wrist) or carried in the pocket — compare clock

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Examples of watch in a Sentence

Verb

They have a rookie on the team who is fun to watch. I fell asleep watching television. What movie are you watching? “Mom, watch me do a cartwheel!” She sat and watched the children play. “Would you like to play, too?” “No, I'll just watch.” Just sit back and watch. Keep watching to see what happens next. “What happens next?” “Watch and see.” People are watching this presidential race very carefully.

Noun

He glanced at his watch. When you're driving in winter you should always be on the watch for ice on the roads.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The show is too raunchy and shocking — definitely too mature for the teenagers who might be watching it. Alice Lesperance, Teen Vogue, "Euphoria's Kat Is Not the Fat Teenage Girl Trope You've Seen Before," 5 Aug. 2019 Not exactly the challenge faced by the majority of people who watch him play. Dallas News, "Letters - Floyd McLendon, Ken Paxton, John Ratcliffe, U.S. budget deal, foreign meddling, Saudi arms deal,," 2 Aug. 2019 To design it, Becker and his colleagues went to people’s homes all over the country and watched them use email. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Work Ruined Email," 2 Aug. 2019 Such long stares were beneficial for its primary planet-finding technique, known as the transit method, which detects worlds by watching for dips in a star’s light caused by an orbiting planet’s passage in front of it. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "One Search to (Almost) Rule Them All: Hundreds of Hidden Planets Found in Kepler Data," 2 Aug. 2019 Scientists in the audience—and more than 1 million people watching a live webcast—strained to analyze He's data slides showing that the gene edits had taken place in one baby and been on target. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "The untold story of the ‘circle of trust’ behind the world’s first gene-edited babies," 1 Aug. 2019 The high-quality sound and sharp display were clearly aimed at the user who wants to watch movies or stream music on a tablet. CNN Money, "The Galaxy Tab S6 aims to mix productivity and fun in one 10.5-inch Android tablet," 31 July 2019 Drug manufacturers, pharmacy chains, drug distributors, and insurance companies got rich while people, especially people lower down the income ladder, suffered—and the DEA, through neglect or incompetence or a mix of both, watched it all happen. Zachary Siegel, The New Republic, "The Opioid Crisis Is About More Than Corporate Greed," 30 July 2019 During his career, Rimando has watched All-Star Week evolve from the East vs. West game to hosting top flight clubs from around the world. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "MLS all-stars gather for training, enjoy time together," 30 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And then the supportive technology in your watches and heart rate monitors and all of that. Jamie Lisanti, SI.com, "Catching Up with Paula Newby-Fraser Ahead of the 2019 Ironman World Championships," 1 Aug. 2019 It was diagnosed as a type of brain cancer called diffuse mixed glioma, and I was told that recurrence was inevitable. I was put on the watch and wait plan, undergoing regular MRI scans so doctors could keep an eye out for any regrowth. Health.com, "For 6 Years, Doctors Kept Telling Me I Had PMS—but It Turned Out to Be Brain Cancer," 31 July 2019 Yellow tape was tied across three houses on Escanaba, which was populated by concerned neighbors standing watch and residents on stoops enjoying the breeze. Alice Yin, chicagotribune.com, "3-year-old dies following gunshot wound to the face in what police are investigating as an accident," 28 July 2019 The news instantly called for a binge watch of the hit show—and, with that, comes some present-day surprises. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "All the Celebrity Cameos You Forgot About On Gossip Girl," 26 July 2019 Flash flood watches and warnings covered a stretch from Atlantic City, including Morristown and Newark, and north of New York City early Tuesday, according to the weather service. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "New York City area slammed with flooding, power outages after extreme heat," 23 July 2019 The watch and luxury good company is often credited with the resurgence if Detroit, something that some celebrate and others repudiate. Andrea Perez Balderrama, Detroit Free Press, "Shinola's decision to restructure brings layoffs to Detroit," 19 July 2019 The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings and watches as well as heat advisories in the Plains, Midwest, Ohio Valley and parts of the East. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dangerous heat set to arrive across southern Wisconsin; strong to severe storms possible Wednesday night," 17 July 2019 Storm surge watches and warnings are also in effect for various areas along the coast. Fox News, "Hurricane Barry's path: What you need to know," 13 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'watch.' 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 watch

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for watch

Verb

Middle English wacchen, from Old English wæccan — more at wake

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Statistics for watch

Last Updated

8 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for watch

The first known use of watch was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for watch

watch

verb

English Language Learners Definition of watch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to look at (someone or something) for an amount of time and pay attention to what is happening
: to give your attention to (a situation, an event, etc.)
: to care for (someone or something) for a period of time in order to make sure that nothing bad or unwanted happens

watch

noun

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

: a device that shows what time it is and that you wear on your wrist or carry in a pocket
: the act of giving your attention to someone or something especially in order to make sure that nothing bad or unwanted happens
: the act of looking for someone or something that you expect to see : the act of regularly checking to see if someone has arrived or if something has appeared or happened

watch

verb
\ ˈwäch How to pronounce watch (audio) \
watched; watching

Kids Definition of watch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to keep in view Did you watch the game?
2 : to be on the lookout I'm watching for a signal.
3 : to take care of : tend Watch the house until I get back.
4 : to be careful of Watch your step.
5 : to keep guard Watch outside the door.
6 : to stay awake She watched at the sick child's bedside.
watch out
: to be aware of and ready for Remember to watch out for broken glass.

Other Words from watch

watcher noun

watch

noun

Kids Definition of watch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a small timepiece worn on the wrist or carried
2 : close observation
4 : the time during which someone is on duty to guard or be on the lookout
5 : an act of keeping awake to guard or protect

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More from Merriam-Webster on watch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for watch

Spanish Central: Translation of watch

Nglish: Translation of watch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of watch for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about watch

Comments on watch

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