watchful

adjective watch·ful \ ˈwäch-fəl , 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

watchfully

play \ˈwäch-fə-lē, ˈwȯch-\ adverb

watchfulness

noun

Examples of watchful in a Sentence

  1. We need to be more watchful of our children.

  2. The hotel is being built under the watchful eye of its architect.

Recent Examples of watchful from the Web

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.

First Known Use of watchful

15th century

Synonym Discussion of 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


WATCHFUL Defined for English Language Learners

watchful

adjective

Definition of watchful for English Language Learners

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


WATCHFUL Defined for Kids

watchful

adjective watch·ful \ ˈwäch-fəl \

Definition of watchful for Students

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

watchfully

\-fə-lē\ adverb

watchfulness

noun


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