Pronunciation: (deth'woch", -wôch"), [key]
1. a vigil beside a dying or dead person.
2. a guard set over a condemned person before execution.
3. Also called death'watch bee"tle. any of several beetles of the family Anobiidae that make a ticking sound as they bore through wood: the sound was once believed to be an omen of death.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.