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 Many audits continue to contain deficiencies, said the U.S. audit watchdog, which inspected 153 audit firms. Mark Maurer, WSJ, 19 Oct. 2021 An analysis by a Portland city watchdog found that complaints about property maintenance have been highly concentrated in the city’s most diverse and rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. oregonlive, 3 Nov. 2021 The goal of Artemis is to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024 -- although that deadline may not be feasible because of problems with spacesuits, an August report by the NASA watchdog warned. Katie Hunt, CNN, 13 Oct. 2021 Earlier this year, Sims was investigated by the county watchdog for allegedly retaliating against an employee who reported a supervisor for groping her. Alice Yin,, 10 Oct. 2021 But Lille, which has substantial debts and was handed a transfer ban by the league’s financial watchdog in 2018, won the title last year with a team built on the profits of player sales. Zak Garner-purkis, Forbes, 28 Aug. 2021 For instance, if China’s internet regulator determines that Didi failed to protect users’ data, that might feed into an investigation by the antitrust watchdog into whether the company did so to squeeze out its rivals, Professor Ng said. New York Times, 7 July 2021 That news, appropriately, has now drawn the attention of the department's internal watchdog. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, 12 June 2021 But her firm Davis Malm — a boutique firm — has held City Hall contracts since at least 2014, Walsh’s first year in office, according to records reviewed by the fiscal watchdog the Boston Finance Commission., 20 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To watchdog groups, Clark has been a person of interest for months. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 14 Oct. 2021 Often, critics of the system contend, those officers end up policing in smaller jurisdictions, which may lack the resources to watchdog their conduct. Los Angeles Times, 1 Oct. 2021 Companies listing in Hong Kong would still need to be vetted by the CAC and obtain approval from the Chinese securities watchdog under the new framework being considered by Beijing, according to the outlet. Jane Li, Quartz, 16 July 2021 Last year, law enforcement struggled to keep up with online child abuse as technology companies around the world reported a record-breaking amount of images and videos to watchdog groups. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 July 2021 Gabe Roth, executive director of nonpartisan judicial ethics watchdog Fix the Court, brought Pratt's remarks to the 8th Circuit's attention in February, calling them unseemly. Ryan J. Foley, Star Tribune, 30 June 2021 The commission would take both public and whistleblower tips to refer investigations to watchdog agencies as well as oversee the Ohio inspector general, who handles ethics complaints in the executive branch. cleveland, 1 June 2021 Thanks to a partnership with national service program Report for America, The Enquirer and will be adding a new reporter to watchdog Cincinnati's suburban counties. Carl Weiser, The Enquirer, 27 Apr. 2021 Prosecutors said small districts lacked the capacity to properly watchdog the A3 schools, which often enrolled thousands of students. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Apr. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of watchdog was in 1612

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Dictionary Entries Near watchdog

watch desk



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Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Watchdog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for watchdog



English Language Learners Definition of watchdog

: a dog that is trained to guard a place : guard dog
: 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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