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

Models at the Resort 2020 show weren't watching Riverdale, yet, but, two separate screens on a monogrammed Louis Vuitton bag did display colorful images of a cityscape. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2020 Collection Includes Purses with Television Screens," 10 May 2019 When not evangelizing about four-door coupes, he can be found watching The Real Housewives with his two cats. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "Daniel Golson," 10 May 2019 Klaidman wound up to a question on using social media, highlighting how AOC isn’t just a Twitter phenom but also quite active on Instagram, where her live sessions and stories are watched by many. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Explained Why She’s Imposed "Little Rules" on Her Social Media Usage," 16 Apr. 2019 The dress couldn’t be more perfect on the in-demand model whose feminine, romantic style is closely watched by some 282,000 fans on Instagram. Vogue, "Aussie Model Bambi Northwood-Blyth Gets You Ready for a Flirty, Fantastic Spring," 5 Apr. 2019 For some people self-care is saying no and staying in and binge-watching their favorite show. Glamour, "Busy Philipps Thinks We Should Celebrate Our Skin—Yes, Even Acne," 1 Apr. 2019 Some typical long-weekend activities can be expected this Presidents' Day 2019—sleeping in, binge-watching Netflix, ordering takeout. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "The Best Presidents’ Day 2019 Sales," 14 Feb. 2019 But suppose there’s someone watching you with the Portal who isn’t your friend? Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Things Come Apart: Facebook Portal+," 24 Mar. 2019 College scouts regularly attend games to watch them play. Kate Morgan, Woman's Day, "A New Jersey Softball Team Is Lifting Its City's Spirits," 21 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The whole thing is chock full of references to The Favourite and the royal family, turning what could have been a standard pop video into a must-watch cultural happening. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Jonas Brothers's New Music Video Is Inspired By The Favourite and the Royal Family," 1 Mar. 2019 Check out all the must-watch titles for this week, below. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "10 TV Shows and Movies to Watch This Week Just in Time for Christmas," 23 Dec. 2018 Huda Kattan launched a Facebook Watch television show this summer, Huda Boss, a must-watch for her fans and the inner boss in all of us. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Huda Beauty May Have Just Teased a Brand New Eye Shadow Palette," 17 July 2018 That day, the former Oklahoma attorney general accepted an EPA baseball cap from employees and detailed how the agency under his watch would adhere strictly to the authority granted by Congress and cede more responsibility to individual states. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "New EPA chief tells employees, ‘When it comes to leadership, you can’t lead unless you listen’," 11 July 2018 Under her watch, the all-girl Grizzlies won seven National Girls’ Interscholastic Championship titles. Katherine Fominykh, baltimoresun.com, "Former Garrison Forrest coach Cindy Halle wins national polo award," 6 July 2018 King was taken to jail and now faces two counts of assault for hitting his kids and two other charges for allowing them to wander away from the apartment while under his watch. charlotteobserver, "A good Samaritan saved kids from a busy street. Now the dad is facing assault charges.," 3 July 2018 Under his watch, Funes-Monzote confirms, more water was siphoned away and more artificial channels were driven deep into the swamp, into Cuban crocodile habitat. Shanna Baker, Smithsonian, "The Quest to Preserve the Last of Castro’s Crocodiles," 21 June 2018 There is also no question that Obama presided over an immigration apparatus that ballooned in size and power under his watch. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Draconian Immigration Policies Highlight Obama’s Missteps," 20 June 2018

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

16 May 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

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