watchful

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective watchful contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of watchful are alert, vigilant, and wide-awake. While all these words mean "being on the lookout especially for danger or opportunity," watchful is the least explicit term.

the watchful eye of the department supervisor

When could alert be used to replace watchful?

Although the words alert and watchful have much in common, alert stresses readiness or promptness in meeting danger or in seizing opportunity.

alert traders anticipated the stock market's slide

Where would vigilant be a reasonable alternative to watchful?

The meanings of vigilant and watchful largely overlap; however, vigilant suggests intense, unremitting, wary watchfulness.

eternally vigilant in the safeguarding of democracy

When is wide-awake a more appropriate choice than watchful?

The words wide-awake and watchful are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, wide-awake applies to watchfulness for opportunities and developments more often than dangers.

wide-awake companies latched onto the new technology

Thesaurus Entries Near watchful

Cite this Entry

“Watchful.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/watchful. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on watchful

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY