watchword

noun
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

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Learn More About watchword

Time Traveler for watchword

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near watchword

watchwoman

watchword

watchwork

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for watchword

Cite this Entry

“Watchword.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/watchword. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for watchword

watchword

noun
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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!