watch·​man ˈwäch-mən How to pronounce watchman (audio)
: a person who keeps watch : guard

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 Who watches the watchmen—or, in Fortune 500 terms, who audits the auditors? Dylan Sloan, Fortune, 9 Mar. 2024 His grandfather was the city’s first night watchman, and his father served on the school board, city council, and as mayor. Rick Mauch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024 The original point-and-click survival game challenges players to work a night shift at Freddy's as watchman Mike Schmidt (played by Josh Hutcherson in the movie). Megan McCluskey, TIME, 27 Oct. 2023 In his first five night-shift stints as watchman at a disused ’80s amusement park/arcade mall — Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Place — Mike stares glaze-eyed at security monitors, then drifts into violent 3-D incidents, His circumstance incarnates the hell that Morrissey sings about. Armond White, National Review, 1 Nov. 2023 On the night of October 8th, the watchmen on duty did not spot the flames on DeKoven Street for nearly half an hour, delaying the initial response. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2023 For anyone wondering who will watch the watchmen, Musk claimed the system would be self-correcting thanks to his decision to open his programming code up for public scrutiny. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 30 Oct. 2023 The Israeli military expressed regret for the incident, which the Egyptian military said caused minor injuries to border watchmen. Kelly kasulis Cho, Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2023 Moreover, the department depended on a system of watchmen perched in high places to spot the first glints of an inferno. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near watchman

Cite this Entry

“Watchman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


watch·​man -mən How to pronounce watchman (audio)
: a person assigned to watch : guard

More from Merriam-Webster on watchman

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