watch·​word | \ ˈwäch-ˌwərd How to pronounce watchword (audio) , ˈwȯch- \

Definition of watchword

1 : a word or phrase used as a sign of recognition among members of the same society, class, or group
2a : a word or motto that embodies a principle or guide to action of an individual or group : slogan "safety" is our watchword
b : a guiding principle change is the watchword for both parties

Synonyms for watchword


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Examples of watchword in a Sentence

The new watchword in his campaign is “It's time for change.” the watchword is changed every day
Recent Examples on the Web The watchword in conversations with analysts and investors is uncertainty. Walter Frick, Quartz, 11 May 2022 And vigilant will indeed be the watchword for 2022. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 17 Feb. 2022 Modernity, the welcome chaos of class mobility and incremental advancements for Black Americans, is coming for a class of people for whom stability has long been the watchword. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 20 Jan. 2022 Accessibility is the watchword for citizen experience. Brian Chidester, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 The watchword is universalism, referring to an abstract notion of citizenship to which all must subscribe. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2021 The truth is, success would be nice, but the watchword here in Year 1 of a new era is progress. Howard Megdal, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 Sorry might have been the watchword for Sunday’s performance. Gary Klein Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2021 So, if ‘uncertainty’ was the watchword of 2020, reinvention or transformation may become the word of 2021. Benjamin Laker, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'watchword.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of watchword

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Cite this Entry

“Watchword.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for watchword


watch·​word | \ ˈwäch-ˌwərd How to pronounce watchword (audio) \

Kids Definition of watchword

More from Merriam-Webster on watchword

Nglish: Translation of watchword for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of watchword for Arabic Speakers


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