Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Watch

Watch

(wŏch)
,
Noun.
[OE.
wacche
, AS.
wæcce
, fr.
wacian
to wake; akin to D.
wacht
,
waak
, G.
wacht
,
wache
. √134. See
Wake
,
Verb.
I.
]
1.
The act of watching; forbearance of sleep; vigil; wakeful, vigilant, or constantly observant attention; close observation; guard; preservative or preventive vigilance; formerly, a watching or guarding by night.
Shepherds keeping
watch
by night.
Milton.
All the long night their mournful
watch
they keep.
Addison.
Watch was formerly distinguished from ward, the former signifying a watching or guarding by night, and the latter a watching, guarding, or protecting by day Hence, they were not unfrequently used together, especially in the phrase to keep watch and ward, to denote continuous and uninterrupted vigilance or protection, or both watching and guarding. This distinction is now rarely recognized, watch being used to signify a watching or guarding both by night and by day, and ward, which is now rarely used, having simply the meaning of guard, or protection, without reference to time.
Still, when she slept, he kept both
watch and ward
.
Spenser.
Ward
, guard, or
custodia
, is chiefly applied to the daytime, in order to apprehend rioters, and robbers on the highway . . .
Watch
, is properly applicable to the night only, . . . and it begins when
ward
ends, and ends when that begins.
Blackstone.
2.
One who watches, or those who watch; a watchman, or a body of watchmen; a sentry; a guard.
Pilate said unto them, Ye have a
watch
; go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
Matt. xxvii. 65.
3.
The post or office of a watchman; also, the place where a watchman is posted, or where a guard is kept.
He upbraids Iago, that he made him
Brave me upon the
watch
.
Shakespeare
4.
The period of the night during which a person does duty as a sentinel, or guard; the time from the placing of a sentinel till his relief; hence, a division of the night.
I did stand my
watch
upon the hill.
Shakespeare
Might we but hear . . .
Or whistle from the lodge, or village cock
Count the night
watches
to his feathery dames.
Milton.
5.
A small timepiece, or chronometer, to be carried about the person, the machinery of which is moved by a spring.
☞ Watches are often distinguished by the kind of escapement used, as an
anchor watch
, a
lever watch
, a
chronometer watch
, etc. (see the Note under
Escapement
,
Noun.
, 3); also, by the kind of case, as a
gold
or
silver watch
, an
open-faced watch
, a
hunting watch
, or
hunter
, etc.
6.
(Naut.)
(a)
An allotted portion of time, usually four hour for standing watch, or being on deck ready for duty. Cf.
Dogwatch
.
(b)
That part, usually one half, of the officers and crew, who together attend to the working of a vessel for an allotted time, usually four hours. The watches are designated as the
port watch
, and the
starboard watch
.
Anchor watch
(Naut.)
,
a detail of one or more men who keep watch on deck when a vessel is at anchor.
To be on the watch
,
to be looking steadily for some event.
Watch and ward
(Law)
,
the charge or care of certain officers to keep a watch by night and a guard by day in towns, cities, and other districts, for the preservation of the public peace.
Wharton.
Burrill.
Watch and watch
(Naut.)
,
the regular alternation in being on watch and off watch of the two watches into which a ship’s crew is commonly divided.
Watch barrel
,
the brass box in a watch, containing the mainspring.
Watch bell
(Naut.)
,
a bell struck when the half-hour glass is run out, or at the end of each half hour.
Craig.
Watch bill
(Naut.)
,
a list of the officers and crew of a ship as divided into watches, with their stations.
Totten.
Watch case
,
the case, or outside covering, of a watch; also, a case for holding a watch, or in which it is kept.
Watch chain
.
Same as
watch guard
, below.
Watch clock
,
a watchman's clock; see under
Watchman
.
Watch fire
,
a fire lighted at night, as a signal, or for the use of a watch or guard.
Watch glass
.
(a)
A concavo-convex glass for covering the face, or dial, of a watch; – also called
watch crystal
.
(b)
(Naut.)
A half-hour glass used to measure the time of a watch on deck.
Watch guard
,
a chain or cord by which a watch is attached to the person.
Watch gun
(Naut.)
,
a gun sometimes fired on shipboard at 8 p. m., when the night watch begins.
Watch light
,
a low-burning lamp used by watchers at night; formerly, a candle having a rush wick.
Watch night
,
The last night of the year; – so called by the Methodists, Moravians, and others, who observe it by holding religious meetings lasting until after midnight.
Watch paper
,
an old-fashioned ornament for the inside of a watch case, made of paper cut in some fanciful design, as a vase with flowers, etc.
Watch tackle
(Naut.)
,
a small, handy purchase, consisting of a tailed double block, and a single block with a hook.

Watch

,
Verb.
I.
[Cf. AS.
wœccan
,
wacian
. √134. See
Watch
,
Noun.
,
Wake
,
Verb.
I.
]
1.
To be awake; to be or continue without sleep; to wake; to keep vigil.
I have two nights
watched
with you.
Shakespeare
Couldest thou not
watch
one hour ?
Mark xiv. 37.
2.
To be attentive or vigilant; to give heed; to be on the lookout; to keep guard; to act as sentinel.
Take ye heed,
watch
and pray.
Mark xiii. 33.
The Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that
watched
.
Milton.
3.
To be expectant; to look with expectation; to wait; to seek opportunity.
My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that
watch
for the morning.
Ps. cxxx. 6.
4.
To remain awake with any one as nurse or attendant; to attend on the sick during the night;
as, to
watch
with a man in a fever
.
5.
(Naut.)
To serve the purpose of a watchman by floating properly in its place; – said of a buoy.
To watch over
,
to be cautiously observant of; to inspect, superintend, and guard.

Watch

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Watched
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Watching
.]
1.
To give heed to; to observe the actions or motions of, for any purpose; to keep in view; not to lose from sight and observation;
as, to
watch
the progress of a bill in the legislature
.
Saul also sent messengers unto David's house to
watch
him, and to slay him.
1 Sam. xix. 11
I must cool a little, and
watch
my opportunity.
Landor.
In lazy mood I
watched
the little circles die.
Longfellow.
2.
To tend; to guard; to have in keeping.
And flaming ministers, to
watch
and tend
Their earthy charge.
Milton.
Paris
watched
the flocks in the groves of Ida.
Broome.

Webster 1828 Edition


Watch

WATCH

,
Noun.
[It is from the same root as wake, which see.]
1.
Forbearance of sleep.
2.
Attendance without sleep.
All the long night their mournful watch they keep.
3.
Attention; close observation. Keep watch of the suspicious man.
4.
Guard; vigilance for keeping or protecting against danger.
He kept both watch and ward.
5.
A watchman, or watchmen; men set for a guard, either one person or more, set to espy the approach of an enemy or other danger, and to give an alarm or notice of such danger; a sentinel; a guard. He kept a watch at the gate.
Ye have a watch; go your way, make it as sure as ye can. Matthew 27.
6.
The place where a guard is kept.
He upbraids I ago, that he made him brave me upon the watch.
7.
Post or office of a watchman.
As I did stand my watch upon the hill--
8.
A period of the night, in which one person or one set of persons stand as sentinels; or the time from one relief of sentinels to another. This period among the Israelites, seems to have been originally four hours, but was afterwards three hours, and there were four watches during the night. Hence we read in Scripture of the morning watch, and of the second, third and fourth watch; the evening watch commencing at six oclock, the second at nine, the third at twelve, and the fourth at three in the morning. Exodus 14. Matthew 14. Luke 12.
9.
A small time piece or chronometer, to be carried in the pocket or about the person, in which the machinery is moved by a spring.
10.
At sea, the space of time during which one set or division of the crew remain on deck to perform the necessary duties. This is different in different nations.
To be on the watch, to be looking steadily for some event.

WATCH

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To be awake; to be or continue without sleep.
I have two nights watchd with you.
2.
To be attentive; to look with attention or steadiness. Watch and see when the man passes.
3.
To look with expectation.
My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning. Psalm 130.
4.
To keep guard; to act as sentinel; to look for danger.
He gave signal to the minister that watchd.
5.
To be attentive; to be vigilant in preparation for an event or trial, the time of whose arrival is uncertain.
Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Matthew 24.
6.
To be insidiously attentive; as, to watch for an opportunity to injure another.
7.
To attend on the sick during the night; as, to watch with a man in a fever.
To watch over, to be cautiously observant of; to inspect, superintend and guard from error and danger. It is our duty constantly to watch over our own conduct and that of our children.

WATCH

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To guard; to have in keeping.
Flaming ministers watch and tend their charge.
2.
To observe in ambush; to lie in wait for.
Saul also sent messengers to Davids house to watch him, and to slay him. 1 Samuel 19.
3.
To tend; to guard.
Paris watched the flocks in the groves of Ida.
4.
To observe in order to detect or prevent, or for some particular purpose; as, to watch a suspected person; to watch the progress of a bill in the legislature.

Definition 2022


watch

watch

English

A pocketwatch (timepiece)
A wristwatch (timepiece)

Noun

watch (plural watches)

  1. A portable or wearable timepiece.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
      Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. [] A silver snaffle on a heavy leather watch guard which connected the pockets of his corduroy waistcoat, together with a huge gold stirrup in his Ascot tie, sufficiently proclaimed his tastes.
    More people today carry a watch on their wrists than in their pockets.
  2. The act of guarding and observing someone or something.
    • Milton
      shepherds keeping watch by night
    • Addison
      All the long night their mournful watch they keep.
  3. A particular time period when guarding is kept.
    The second watch of the night began at midnight.
    • Shakespeare
      I did stand my watch upon the hill.
    • Milton
      Might we but hear [] / Or whistle from the lodge, or village cock / Count the night watches to his feathery dames.
  4. A person or group of people who guard.
    The watch stopped the travelers at the city gates.
    • Bible, Matthew xxvii. 65
      Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch; go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
  5. The post or office of a watchman; also, the place where a watchman is posted, or where a guard is kept.
    • Shakespeare
      He upbraids Iago, that he made him / Brave me upon the watch.
  6. (nautical) A group of sailors and officers aboard a ship or shore station with a common period of duty: starboard watch, port watch.
  7. (nautical) A period of time on duty, usually four hours in length; the officers and crew who tend the working of a vessel during the same watch. (FM 55501).
  8. The act of seeing, or viewing, for a period of time.
    • 2004, Charles P. Nemeth, Criminal law
      A quick watch of Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange sends this reality home fast. Amoral, vacuous, cold-blooded, unsympathetic, and chillingly evil describe only parts of the story.
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

As a verb, from Middle English wacchen, from Old English wæċċan (from the same root as its synonym and doublet wacian, which led to wake in modern English), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *wakōną, *wakjaną. Cognate with West Frisian weitsje (to wake, watch), Dutch waken (to wake, watch), German wachen (to wake, watch).

Verb

watch (third-person singular simple present watches, present participle watching, simple past and past participle watched)

  1. (transitive) To look at, see, or view for a period of time.
    Watching the clock will not make time go faster.
    I'm tired of watching TV.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      It was a joy to snatch some brief respite, and find himself in the rectory drawing–room. Listening here was as pleasant as talking; just to watch was pleasant. The young priests who lived here wore cassocks and birettas; their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector's face; and in their intercourse with him and his wife they seemed to be brothers.
  2. (transitive) To observe over a period of time; to notice or pay attention.
    Watch this!
    Put a little baking soda in some vinegar and watch what happens.
  3. (transitive) To mind, attend, or guard.
    Please watch my suitcase for a minute.
    He has to watch the kids that afternoon.
    • 1899, Stephen Crane, chapter 1, in Twelve O'Clock:
      […] (it was the town's humour to be always gassing of phantom investors who were likely to come any moment and pay a thousand prices for everything) “[…] Them rich fellers, they don't make no bad breaks with their money. They watch it all th' time b'cause they know blame well there ain't hardly room fer their feet fer th' pikers an' tin-horns an' thimble-riggers what are layin' fer 'em. []”
  4. (transitive) To be wary or cautious of.
    You should watch that guy. He has a reputation for lying.
  5. (transitive) To attend to dangers to or regarding.
    watch your head; watch your step
    Watch yourself when you talk to him.
    Watch what you say.
  6. (intransitive) To remain awake with a sick or dying person; to maintain a vigil.
  7. (intransitive) To be vigilant or on one's guard.
    For some must watch, while some must sleep: So runs the world away.
  8. (intransitive) To act as a lookout.
  9. (nautical, of a buoy) To serve the purpose of a watchman by floating properly in its place.
  10. (obsolete, intransitive) To be awake.
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book X:
      So on the morne Sir Trystram, Sir Gareth and Sir Dynadan arose early and went unto Sir Palomydes chambir, and there they founde hym faste aslepe, for he had all nyght wacched [...].
Usage notes
  • When used transitively to mean look at something, there is an implication that the direct object is something which is capable of changing.
Antonyms
Derived terms
Translations

See also