watch·​man | \ ˈwäch-mən How to pronounce watchman (audio) , ˈwȯch- \

Definition of watchman

: a person who keeps watch : guard

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Examples of watchman in a Sentence

A watchman stopped them at the gate. hired a watchman to patrol the factory at night
Recent Examples on the Web Sturgus’ body, still clinging to life, was discovered by a night watchman around 9:30 p.m. that night, in an alley behind the Anchorage Drug store and Liberty Cafe, near the intersection of Fourth Avenue and E Street. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "Who killed Anchorage’s first police chief? Nearly 100 years later, it’s still a mystery.," 13 Jan. 2020 Monica Rochester said a watchman typically walks through the vessel and checks equipment throughout the night. Los Angeles Times, "Conception crew members were sleeping when boat fire broke out, in violation of rules," 12 Sep. 2019 Resident Ilona Barber, who’s lived at the Fuggerei for five years, works at the tour admission desk, but others may be a night watchman or a gardener. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "After Almost 500 Years, the World’s Oldest Social Housing Complex Is Still Going Strong," 20 Dec. 2019 The night watchman at a restaurant across the street runs a hose every other day to their house to fill up buckets of water. Washington Post, "Many in Venezuela’s 2nd city turn to prayer, not politics," 20 Nov. 2019 Greco was standing in as night watchman the evening of his death, charging documents said. Jeff Parrott, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in Alaska Zoo killing," 30 Oct. 2019 After all, when the watchmen have lost moral authority to watch, who can be believed or trusted? Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Who Watches the Watchmen?," 5 Dec. 2019 This one looks like the night watchman at an animal processing plant. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "Happy Halloween to Everyone Except Blood Oranges," 2 Nov. 2019 In the 19th century, New York was strategically dotted with a series of bell towers, from which watchmen scanned the cityscape for fires. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "New York’s Last Fire Watchtower Has Been Restored," 30 Oct. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for watchman

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for watchman

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Watchman.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for watchman


How to pronounce watchman (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of watchman

: a person whose job is to watch and guard property at night or when the owners are away


watch·​man | \ ˈwäch-mən How to pronounce watchman (audio) \
plural watchmen\ -​mən \

Kids Definition of watchman

: a person whose job is to guard property at night or when the owners are away

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