English edit

English Wikipedia has an article on:
English Wikipedia has an article on:
A pocketwatch (timepiece)
A wristwatch (timepiece)

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

As a noun, from Middle English wacche, from Old English wæċċe. See below for verb form.

Noun edit

watch (plural watches)

  1. A portable or wearable timepiece.
    More people today carry a watch on their wrists than in their pockets.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter II, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      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.
  2. The act of guarding and observing someone or something.
  3. A particular time period when guarding is kept.
    The second watch of the night began at midnight.
    • c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene v]:
      I did stand my watch upon the hill.
    • 1634 October 9 (first performance), [John Milton], edited by H[enry] Lawes, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: [], London: [] [Augustine Matthews] for Hvmphrey Robinson, [], published 1637, →OCLC; reprinted as Comus: [] (Dodd, Mead & Company’s Facsimile Reprints of Rare Books; Literature Series; no. I), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1903, →OCLC:
      Might we but hear []
      Or whistle from the lodge, or village cock
      Count the night watches to his feathery dames.
    • 1861, E. J. Guerin, Mountain Charley, page 30:
      In the evening a tremendous thunder storm, accompanied by wind and rain. It is my watch and I find it a terrible time to act as sentry.
  4. A period of wakefulness between the two sleeps of a biphasic sleep pattern (the dead sleep or first sleep and morning sleep or second sleep): the first waking.
  5. A person or group of people who guard.
    The watch stopped the travelers at the city gates.
  6. The post or office of a watchman; also, the place where a watchman is posted, or where a guard is kept.
  7. (nautical) A group of sailors and officers aboard a ship or shore station with a common period of duty: starboard watch, port watch.
  8. (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 55–501).
  9. 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.
    • 2016 August 11, Andrew Bullock, “David Brent REVIEW: Life on the Road goes from painfully funny to just plain painful. Ouch”, in Sunday Express:
      The first third of the film is laugh after laugh; [] But half an hour in and this movie gets unnervingly dark and is an uncomfortable watch at times.
Derived terms edit
Terms derived from the noun “watch”
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English wacchen, from Old English wæċċan, from Proto-West Germanic *wakkjan, from Proto-Germanic *wakjaną.

Verb edit

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

  1. (transitive, intransitive) 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[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter X, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      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.
    • 1687, John Aubrey, Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme, page 30:
      At the funeralls in Yorkeshire, to this day, they continue the custome of watching & sitting-up all night till the body is interred.
  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 []
  11. (transitive, obsolete) To be on the lookout for; to wait for expectantly.
    • 1789, John Moore, Zeluco, Valancourt, published 2008, page 80:
      [S]he had reason to dread that her husband had formed a very criminal project of being revenged on Zeluco, and watched an opportunity of putting it in execution.
Usage notes edit
  • When used transitively to mean look at something, there is an implication that the direct object is something which is capable of changing.
Antonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Terms derived from the verb "watch"
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also edit