watch·​dog | \ ˈwäch-ˌdȯg How to pronounce watchdog (audio) , ˈwȯch- \

Definition of watchdog

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a dog kept to guard property
2 : one that guards against loss, waste, theft, or undesirable practices


watchdogged; watchdogging; watchdogs

Definition of watchdog (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to act as a watchdog for

Examples of watchdog in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Millions of Americans who are working full-time jobs still rely on federal health care and food assistance programs because of low wages, a bipartisan congressional watchdog says. CBS News, "Millions of full-time U.S. workers receive federal health care and food assistance," 20 Nov. 2020 In August, the Government Accountability Office, a bipartisan congressional watchdog, said Wolf and his acting deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, were improperly serving and ineligible to run the agency under the Vacancies Reform Act. David Porter, Anchorage Daily News, "Judge: Acting Homeland Security secretary didn’t have authority to suspend DACA," 15 Nov. 2020 In August, the Government Accountability Office, a bipartisan congressional watchdog, said Wolf and his acting deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, were improperly serving and ineligible to run the agency under the Vacancies Reform Act. David Porter,, "Federal judge rules acting Department of Homeland Security head assumed position unlawfully and didn’t have authority to suspend DACA," 14 Nov. 2020 Britain’s main opposition Labour Party suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn after a U.K. watchdog found the party unlawfully discriminated against its Jewish members during his tenure. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Former Leader of U.K.’s Labour Party Is Suspended Following Anti-Semitism Report," 29 Oct. 2020 The goal is to organize a national project that turns sewers—one of the oldest public health tools—into a modern public health watchdog. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Old sewers are becoming a modern Covid-19 watchdog," 29 Oct. 2020 Russia’s Rospotrebnadzor, a federal watchdog known as the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing, published the order on Tuesday. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Russia institutes national mask mandate as coronavirus cases surge," 27 Oct. 2020 The national financial crime intelligence agency, two police forces and a public sector corruption watchdog have been drawn into the Vatican scandal, although details of what has piqued their interest in Australia remained scant on Wednesday. Rod Mcguirk, Star Tribune, "Australian law enforcement examine Vatican money trail," 21 Oct. 2020 At War also served as a watchdog, both in its original form and its reincarnation, over the Pentagon, which has spent the last 19 years fighting wars that seem to simply flame out or lose funding, rather than definitively end in any kind of victory. Lauren Katzenberg, New York Times, "Turning the Lights Down on the At War Channel," 16 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Oil and gas interests funneled $17.2 million into state politics from 2013 to 2016, more than any other sector except for lobbyists and lawyers, according to a 2017 report by state politics watchdog Texans for Public Justice. Popular Science, "The pandemic could end Texas’s oil boom—and start something better," 5 Oct. 2020 Your social media presence is more social justice and media watchdog these days than food. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "Padma Lakshmi: 'Taste the Nation' Is a "Political Show Under the Guise of Food Porn"," 13 Aug. 2020 On Thursday, esports betting will get a boost when the Overwatch and Call of Duty league announce a partnership with Sportradar, a data company that watchdogs sports leagues. Los Angeles Times, "Las Vegas hedging its bets on esports," 6 May 2020 But the firm that’s supposed to watchdog WeWork’s finances wasn’t one of them. Michael Rapoport, Quartz, "The way audits work is about to change," 17 Jan. 2020 Celeb watchdog the Shade Room captured the entire interaction, which went down in the comments section of a post partially showing the album's track list. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Claps Back at Fan Who Accused Her of Cheating on Mac Miller With Pete Davidson," 9 Aug. 2018 The council meeting followed last week's 82-24 vote by OPCW member nations giving the international chemical weapons watchdog the authority to determine blame for chemical attacks for the first time, over strong objections from Russia and Syria. Fox News, "UN members: Syria not answering chemical weapons questions," 3 July 2018 Get all the local news, sports, things to do and watchdog reporting from and The Enquirer with an unlimited digital access subscription. Cincinnati Enquirer,, "First month free: Subscribe to unlimited digital access to," 19 Mar. 2018 The environmental community will be able to watchdog any facility on Earth. John Fialka, Scientific American, "Meet the Satellites that Can Pinpoint Methane and Carbon Dioxide Leaks," 9 Mar. 2018

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


1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1902, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for watchdog

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The first known use of watchdog was in 1612

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Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Watchdog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for watchdog


How to pronounce watchdog (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of watchdog

: a dog that is trained to guard a place
: a person or organization that makes sure that companies, governments, etc., are not doing anything illegal or wrong


watch·​dog | \ ˈwäch-ˌdȯg How to pronounce watchdog (audio) \

Kids Definition of watchdog

: a dog kept to guard property

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