watchful

adjective
watch·​ful | \ ˈwäch-fəl How to pronounce watchful (audio) , ˈwȯch-\

Definition of watchful

1 archaic

a : not able or accustomed to sleep or rest : wakeful
b : causing sleeplessness
c : spent in wakefulness : sleepless
2 : carefully observant or attentive : being on the watch

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Other Words from watchful

watchfully \ ˈwäch-​fə-​lē How to pronounce watchfully (audio) , ˈwȯch-​ \ adverb
watchfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for watchful

Synonyms

alert, Argus-eyed, attentive, awake, observant, open-eyed, tenty (also tentie) [Scottish], vigilant, wide-awake

Antonyms

asleep

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Choose the Right Synonym for watchful

watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert mean being on the lookout especially for danger or opportunity. watchful is the least explicit term. the watchful eye of the department supervisor vigilant suggests intense, unremitting, wary watchfulness. eternally vigilant in the safeguarding of democracy wide-awake applies to watchfulness for opportunities and developments more often than dangers. wide-awake companies latched onto the new technology alert stresses readiness or promptness in meeting danger or in seizing opportunity. alert traders anticipated the stock market's slide

Examples of watchful in a Sentence

We need to be more watchful of our children. The hotel is being built under the watchful eye of its architect.

Recent Examples on the Web

Staff and faculty are being watchful for anyone at the school who may need assistance. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "Texas teens' relationship 'was just so toxic.' It ended in murder-suicide, police say | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 26 Apr. 2018 Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale went out in spectacular fashion, with June deciding to stay in Gilead to rescue Hannah after seeing baby Holly (now Nicole) to safety with the help of Serena (!), Emily, and a host of watchful Marthas. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 3: Everything We Know," 11 July 2018 But her characters are passive, watchful, having long ago learned the futility of fighting the elements. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Florida, Full of Dread," 14 June 2018 Overall, treatment options can include: no treatment, watchful waiting, bracing, and surgery. Dr. Carolyn Kienstra And Dr. Alicia Morrisson, miamiherald, "Scoliosis a common condition that could require medical care," 12 June 2018 This is not the first time watchful students from the pre-law academy brought an important issue to the attention of school staff. Austen Erblat, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Pre-law academy gets school zone for L.C. Swain Middle School," 8 June 2018 So its home becomes the aquarium, under the watchful care of aquarium personnel. Alex Stuckey, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas State Aquarium doubles down on wildlife rescue, rehabilitation after Harvey," 3 June 2018 Ivan Hiestand saluted as a bugler played taps Monday during Hobart’s Memorial Day commemoration under the watchful arm of the Doughboy monument on Main Street. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Fallen honored at Hobart Memorial Day ceremony," 28 May 2018 Under the watchful care of the struggling Mary, Roy became a precocious aesthete. Tobi Haslett, The New Yorker, "The Man Who Led the Harlem Renaissance—and His Hidden Hungers," 11 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for watchful

Last Updated

29 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for watchful

The first known use of watchful was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for watchful

watchful

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of watchful

: always watching the actions of someone or something : paying careful attention to someone or something

watchful

adjective
watch·​ful | \ ˈwäch-fəl How to pronounce watchful (audio) \

Kids Definition of watchful

: attentive sense 1, vigilant The community was extraordinarily safe, each citizen watchful and protective of all children.— Lois Lowry, The Giver

Other Words from watchful

watchfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb
watchfulness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on watchful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for watchful

Spanish Central: Translation of watchful

Nglish: Translation of watchful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on watchful

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