watch·​tow·​er | \ ˈwäch-ˌtau̇(-ə)r, ˈwȯch-\

Definition of watchtower

: a tower for a lookout

Examples of watchtower in a Sentence

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Facilities seen by The Wall Street Journal on recent visits to Xinjiang and others described by former detainees are prisonlike, surrounded by high walls, watchtowers and razor wire. Josh Chin, WSJ, "China Faces Off With Critics of Muslim Detentions," 6 Nov. 2018 Satellite imagery of all 28 facilities showed high-security features resembling prisons, with significant fencing to restrict the movement of people inside, watchtowers, and strategic barricades with only a small number of entry points. Rob Taylor, WSJ, "China Supersizes Internment Camps in Xinjiang Despite International Criticism," 1 Nov. 2018 The store will also be shaped like a medieval watchtower, so uh, look out for that. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Boring Company gets approval to build a tunnel connecting a garage to a hyperloop," 13 Sep. 2018 The detention centers, many of them equipped with watchtowers and surrounded by high walls topped with razor wire, have expanded in recent months, according to satellite imagery and interviews with former inmates and relatives of those detained. Eva Dou, WSJ, "American Lawmakers Push to Sanction Chinese Officials Over Xinjiang Camps," 29 Aug. 2018 On the Israeli side, civilians sought vantage points with binoculars and cameras, straining to see the action from kibbutz watchtowers or outcroppings of farmland. David M. Halbfinger, Iyad Abuheweila And Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "10 Killed in Gaza as Palestinian Protesters Face Off With Israeli Soldiers," 6 Apr. 2018 From the top of the watchtower at Fordson High School, metro Detroit can be seen in all directions, for miles. Hasan Dudar, Detroit Free Press, "This Dearborn high school looks like a castle," 27 June 2018 At the McAllen processing station, security contractors are posted at watchtowers. NBC News, "Obama asks America to end family separation at border as Trump backs down," 20 June 2018 The 528-square-mile zone is a sparsely populated strip marked by watchtowers, tank traps and barbed wire that extends several miles south from the DMZ. Yun-hwan Chae, WSJ, "Hot Property in Korea: Great View of the DMZ, May Have Land Mines," 7 June 2018

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

1544, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

23 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for watchtower

The first known use of watchtower was in 1544

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More Definitions for watchtower



English Language Learners Definition of watchtower

: a tower that is used by a person who guards or watches a place


watch·​tow·​er | \ ˈwäch-ˌtau̇-ər \

Kids Definition of watchtower

: a tower for a guard or watchman

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with watchtower

Spanish Central: Translation of watchtower Encyclopedia article about watchtower

Comments on watchtower

What made you want to look up watchtower? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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