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Dictionary


watch



Pronunciation: (woch), [key]
v.i.
1. to be alertly on the lookout, look attentively, or observe, as to see what comes, is done, or happens: to watch while an experiment is performed.
2. to look or wait attentively and expectantly (usually fol. by for): to watch for a signal; to watch for an opportunity.
3. to be careful or cautious: Watch when you cross the street.
4. to keep awake, esp. for a purpose; remain vigilant, as for protection or safekeeping: to watch with a sick person.
5. to keep vigil, as for devotional purposes.
6. to keep guard: She was assigned to watch at the door.

v.t.
1. to keep under attentive view or observation, as in order to see or learn something; view attentively or with interest: to watch a play; to watch a football game.
2. to contemplate or regard mentally: to watch his progress.
3. to look or wait attentively and expectantly for: to watch one's opportunity.
4. to guard, tend, or oversee, esp. for protection or safekeeping: to watch the baby.
5. watch oneself,
a. to be cautious.
b. to practice discretion or self-restraint.
6. watch out,to be on one's guard; be cautious: Watch out for cars when you cross the road.
7. watch over,to guard for protection or safekeeping: She watched over us like a mother hen over her brood.

n.
1. close, continuous observation for the purpose of seeing or discovering something: Their watch for the birds was unrewarding.
2. vigilant guard, as for protection or restraint: to keep watch for prowlers.
3. a keeping awake for some special purpose: a watch beside a sickbed.
4. a period of time for watching or keeping guard: to stand the first watch.
5. a small, portable timepiece, as a wrist watch or pocket watch.
6. a chronometer.
7. Naut.
a. a period of time, usually four hours, during which one part of a ship's crew is on duty, taking turns with another part.
b. the officers and crew who attend to the working of a ship for an allotted period of time.
8. one of the periods, usually three or four, into which the night was divided in ancient times, as by the Greeks or Hebrews: the fourth watch of the night.
9. a person or group that watches, as a lookout, guard, or sentinel: A watch was posted at sunset.
10. Also called storm watch. Meteorol.an announcement from the U.S. National Weather Service alerting the public that dangerous weather conditions are a possibility and that vigilance and precautionary preparations are advised: hurricane watch, tornado watch. Cf. advisory (def. 5), warning (def. 3).
11. a flock of nightingales.
12. on the watch, vigilant; alert: The hunter was on the watch for game.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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