watch

1 of 2

verb

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

intransitive verb

1
a
: to keep vigil as a devotional exercise
b
: to be awake during the night
2
a
: to be attentive or vigilant
b
: to keep guard
3
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
3
b
archaic : the office or function of a sentinel or guard
4
a
: 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
5
a(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
Phrases
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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
By comparison, watching videos gave a 2.4-point bump to 54.62 — while texting resulted in a drop to 47.56. Maureen MacKey, Fox News, 18 Sep. 2023 The 35-year-old quarterback in the final year of his deal watched the tape five times. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 17 Sep. 2023 Betsy Follansbee and her husband, Fred, jogged to Higgins Beach in Scarborough, Maine, to watch surfers — some wearing helmets — paddling out to catch waves reaching 12 feet (3.6 meters). Robert F. Bukaty, David Sharp, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Sep. 2023 Mary Kay Cabot, Ashley Bastock and Dan Labbe previewed Monday Night Football between the Browns and Steelers with three things to watch and then make their picks for Monday night’s game between the two AFC North foes. Dan Labbe, cleveland, 17 Sep. 2023 Not after watching the winless Rams push CU’s lines up and down the field on Satuday night. Bill Oram, oregonlive, 17 Sep. 2023 After renewing their vows in celebration of their 10th wedding anniversary, Teigen, 37, revealed that the couple spent time together afterward by eating Italian food and watching TV. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 17 Sep. 2023 In April, Savita and her four daughters watched in despair as government authorities drove into their settlement – an unauthorized neighborhood – next to the 14th century Tughlaqabad Fort, an iconic Delhi monument, breaking down their small home and reducing seven years of memories to rubble. Rhea Mogul, CNN, 5 Sep. 2023 Terell Truss and Colleen Theresa watched the parade still smeared with red body paint from walking in the J’Ouvert celebration. Nate Schweber, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023
Noun
For related traffic news, check out Gridlock. Weekend storm: With tropical storm warnings in effect as close by as the mouth of the Potomac River, a coastal flood watch is now also up for Saturday night along the tidal Potomac and Chesapeake Bay in our area. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 Zenith Zenith first teamed up with British DJ, producer, and house music pioneer Carl Cox back in 2020 for a limited edition variation of its Defy watch with a carbon case, a small seconds indicator shaped like a vinyl record, and a bright red strap. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 20 Sep. 2023 Brady appears to be wearing a Patek Philippe 2499 perpetual calendar chronograph, a very rare, vintage watch made famous by John Lennon, who was gifted one for his 40th birthday by Yoko Ono, just months before his death. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 19 Sep. 2023 Ahead of the storm, a hurricane watch was in effect for parts of southeastern Canada. Alex Sundby, CBS News, 16 Sep. 2023 This one—in white plus gold, black or silver—is equipped with a USB port and a storage catchall that can corral a fitness watch, earbuds and more. Lisa Lombardi, wsj.com, 15 Sep. 2023 Biden keeping close watch on UAW strike 01:59 60 days of inventory The Big Three automakers — Ford, GM, Ford and Stellantis — whose workers are on strike, grew their inventories in August in anticipation of a potential worker strike. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 18 Sep. 2023 The watch is in effect until 2 a.m. Tuesday, forecasters wrote. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2023 As much as 5 inches of rain was forecast for eastern Maine, where a flash flood watch was in effect. David Sharp, Robert F. Butaky and Patrick Whittle, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'watch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near watch

Cite this Entry

“Watch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/watch. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

watch

1 of 2 verb
ˈwäch How to pronounce watch (audio)
ˈwȯch
1
: to stay awake especially during the night (as at the bedside of a sick person)
2
: to be on the alert or on the lookout
3
: to keep guard
watch outside the door
4
: to keep one's eyes on : keep in view
watch a game
5
: to keep in view so as to prevent harm or warn of danger
watch a brush fire carefully
6
: to keep oneself informed about
watch his career
7
: to be on the alert for the chance to make use of
watched her opportunity and took it
watcher noun

watch

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: the act of keeping awake to guard, protect, or attend
b
: a state of alert and continuous attention
a tornado watch
c
: close observation
kept a watch over the prisoner
2
a
b
: a body of watchmen
3
a
: a period during which a part of a ship's company is on duty
b
: the part of a ship's company on duty during a watch
4
: a portable timepiece designed to be worn (as on the wrist) or carried in the pocket

More from Merriam-Webster on watch

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