Meaning of WATCH in English



1. to watch someone or something

2. to watch someone or something continuously

3. to watch to make sure that nothing bad happens to someone or something

4. to pay attention to the way a situation develops

5. to secretly watch a person or place

6. someone who is watching an event or performance

7. always watching to see what happens


to look at people, scenery, pictures etc that are not moving : ↑ LOOK

to notice something with your eyes : ↑ SEE

see also



1. to watch someone or something

▷ watch /wɒtʃǁwɑːtʃ, wɔːtʃ/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to look for some time at something that is happening or moving, and pay attention to what you see :

▪ She watched the man with interest as he made his way through the crowd.

▪ Do you want to join in or just sit and watch?

watch as

▪ I watched as the small boat disappeared over the horizon.

watch somebody do/doing something

▪ They watched the runners go past.

▪ We watched the children playing on the beach.

watch television/a video/the tennis etc

▪ Did you watch that programme about real life murders last night?

▪ The Presidential debate was watched by over 10 million people.

▷ see /siː/ [transitive verb not in progressive]

to look at something or someone :

▪ Did you see the news last night?

▪ We went to see the new ‘Star Wars’ film last weekend.

see somebody do/doing something

▪ He saw a man get out of the car and walk to the side of the road.

▪ The driver saw two men attacking a middle-aged woman.

▷ observe /əbˈzɜːʳv/ [transitive verb]

to watch someone or something carefully in order to learn more about them :

▪ I love to observe people at work.

observe how/what

▪ Visitors are encouraged to look around and observe how things work.

observation /ˌɒbzəʳˈveɪʃ ə nǁˌɑːb-/ [uncountable noun]

▪ We have reached these conclusions after months of careful observation and experiment.

▷ look on /ˌlʊk ˈɒn/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to watch something happening, without taking part or trying to stop it :

▪ Sarah set off after the man, while her friends looked on in amazement.

▪ The women looked on, nodding and smiling.

▪ Mr Parsons began to cough again, while his wife looked on helplessly.

2. to watch someone or something continuously

▷ not take your eyes off /nɒt teɪk jɔːr ˈaɪz ɒf/ [verb phrase]

to watch someone or something continuously because they are very interesting, exciting or attractive :

▪ The woman had hardly taken her eyes off him all evening.

▪ The dog scuttled across to the other side of the room, without taking his eyes off me.

can’t/couldn’t take your eyes off

▪ Charlie couldn’t take his eyes off Rose.

▷ stand over /ˈstænd əʊvəʳ/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to stand next to someone and watch what they are doing, especially because you want to make sure that they do it right :

▪ Do I have to stand over you to make sure you do your homework?

▪ Liz dragged her out of bed and stood over her while she got dressed.

3. to watch to make sure that nothing bad happens to someone or something

▷ watch /wɒtʃǁwɑːtʃ, wɔːtʃ/ [transitive verb]

▪ Stay here and watch our bags while I go and buy some food.

▪ Don’t let children play near water without an adult to watch them.

▷ keep an eye on /ˌkiːp ən ˈaɪ ɒn/ [verb phrase] especially spoken

to watch someone or something by occasionally going to look at them over a long period of time :

▪ Keep an eye on the baby, in case he gets too near the fire.

▪ Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on the house for you while you’re away.

▪ You’d better come into hospital where we can keep an eye on you.

▷ can’t take your eyes off /ˌkɑːnt teɪk jɔːr ˈaɪz ɒfǁˌkænt-/ [verb phrase]

to have to watch someone very carefully all the time because you think something bad might happen to them :

▪ You have to be so careful with small children - you can’t take your eyes off them for a minute.

▷ observation /ˌɒbzəʳˈveɪʃ ə nǁˌɑːb-/ [uncountable noun]

when doctors watch a patient carefully because they think they might suddenly become more ill :

keep somebody in (the hospital) for observation

▪ They kept him in overnight just for observation.

under observation

▪ She spent two nights in hospital under observation, before being allowed home.

4. to pay attention to the way a situation develops

▷ watch /wɒtʃǁwɑːtʃ, wɔːtʃ/ [transitive verb]

▪ Both candidates are watching the opinion polls carefully.

watch somebody do something

▪ We have watched hundreds of small firms collapse over the last few years.

watch how/when/what etc

▪ Many swimmers are videoed during training so they can watch how their performance improves.

▷ keep an eye on /ˌkiːp ən ˈaɪ ɒn/ [verb phrase]

to watch a situation carefully over a period of time, especially so that you are prepared for anything bad that might happen :

▪ If I were you, I’d keep an eye on house prices for a while before you decide to sell.

keep a close/careful eye on something

▪ Government experts will be keeping a close eye on the new currency to see whether it proves successful.

▷ monitor /ˈmɒnɪtəʳ, ˈmɒnətəʳǁˈmɑː-/ [transitive verb]

to carefully watch a situation over a period of time, to see how it changes or develops :

▪ Doctors monitored her progress during the night.

▪ We will of course monitor the campaign to assess its effectiveness.

5. to secretly watch a person or place

▷ watch /wɒtʃǁwɑːtʃ, wɔːtʃ/ [transitive verb]

▪ The thieves had obviously been watching his house and knew when he was likely to be out.

▪ He had the feeling that he was being watched.

watch somebody’s movements

watch someone as they go to different places

▪ Detectives have been watching Mr Heskey’s movements for some time.

▷ spy on somebody /ˈspaɪ ɒn somebody/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to watch someone secretly, in order to find out information about them :

▪ Mathers admitted he had followed Ms Evans and spied on her.

▷ keep a watch on /ˌkiːp ə ˈwɒtʃ ɒnǁ-ˈwɑːtʃ-/ [verb phrase]

if the police keep a watch on a person or place, a group of them are organized to watch that person or place continuously :

▪ Our orders were to keep a 24-hour watch on the cottage where the men were staying.

▷ surveillance /sɜːʳˈveɪləns/ [uncountable noun]

when people, especially the police or government officials secretly watch a place or person, especially for a long period, often using special equipment such as hidden cameras :

▪ Television surveillance in public areas should help to make housing developments safer.

surveillance camera

▪ Banks are installing surveillance cameras to prevent robberies.

under surveillance

being secretly watched

▪ The men had been under surveillance by customs officers for some time before their arrest.

keep somebody/something under surveillance

secretly watch someone or something

▪ The terrorists had been kept under constant surveillance by our officers.

▷ observation /ˌɒbzəʳˈveɪʃ ə nǁˌɑːb-/ [uncountable noun]

when people watch a place or person carefully for a period of time :

under observation

being watched

▪ A patrol car spotted us and the officers inside made it clear that we were under observation.

keep somebody/something under observation

watch someone or something

▪ We want that place kept under constant observation.

6. someone who is watching an event or performance

▷ spectator /spekˈteɪtəʳǁˈspekteɪtər/ [countable noun]

someone who is watching an event or game :

▪ The game was watched by over 50,000 spectators.

▪ There are no facilities for spectators at the pool.

▪ Someone was juggling in the street, and a small group of spectators had gathered to watch.

▷ viewer /ˈvjuːəʳ/ [countable noun]

someone who watches a television programme - used especially in newspapers and news reports :

▪ The concert was seen by 500 million viewers around the world.

▪ Millions of television viewers tuned in to the president’s speech.

▷ audience /ˈɔːdiənsǁˈɔː-, ˈɑː-/ [countable noun with singular or plural verb in British English]

a group of people who have come to a place to watch a play, concert, film etc :

▪ Actors, wearing masks, came down among the audience.

▪ I’m not sure that this film will appeal to British audiences.

▪ The show has delighted television audiences in the United States and Britain.

in the audience

▪ There seemed to be quite a lot of young people in the audience.

▷ onlooker /ˈɒnˌlʊkəʳǁˈɑːn-, ˈɔːn-/ [countable noun]

someone who is watching an event, especially when they did not come specially to watch it but just happened to see it :

▪ The child glanced fearfully around the small circle of onlookers.

▪ The last few runners appeared, to an accompanying cheer from the crowd of onlookers.

▷ observer /əbˈsɜːʳvəʳ/ [countable noun]

someone who watches an event, activity, or situation, especially someone who has been officially sent there in order to report back about it to an organization or country :

▪ She’s been sent as an observer to the UN aid conference.

▪ Most political observers believe that the president will now have to resign.

▪ Military observers have been allowed into the area to monitor the ceasefire.

7. always watching to see what happens

▷ alert /əˈlɜːʳt/ [adjective]

someone who is alert is always watching, and notices if anything strange or unusual happens :

▪ Passengers should try to stay alert at all times, and report any suspicious packages to the police immediately.

▪ She owes her life to an alert farmer, who spotted her car in a ditch and called the emergency services.

▷ be on the alert /biː ɒn ðə əˈlɜːʳt/ [verb phrase]

to watch carefully because you think that something bad might happen :

▪ We ask you all to be on the alert and to report anything suspicious immediately.

be on the alert for

▪ Staff have been warned to be on the alert for bombs.

▷ keep your eyes open/peeled /ˌkiːp jɔːr ˈaɪz ˌəʊpən, ˌpiːld/ [verb phrase] spoken

say this to tell someone to keep watching carefully so that they will see something that they are hoping or expecting to see :

▪ We might see a dolphin if we’re lucky, so keep your eyes open.

keep your eyes open/peeled for

▪ I always keep my eyes open for discounts and special offers.

▪ Keep your eyes peeled for Robert - he should be here any minute.

▷ look/watch out for /ˌlʊk, ˌwɒtʃ ˈaʊt fəʳǁˌwɑːtʃ-/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to keep watching so that you will notice someone or something :

▪ Look out for the old college buildings on your left.

▪ We had to watch out for potholes in the road.

▷ watchful /ˈwɒtʃf ə lǁˈwɑːtʃ-, ˈwɔːtʃ-/ [adjective]

always watching to see what happens, either to make sure that nothing bad happens, or simply because you are interested :

▪ The fans left the ground quietly, under the watchful gaze of security cameras.

▪ Alan became more watchful and uneasy as the evening went on.

keep a watchful eye on

keep watching someone to make sure they do not get into trouble, hurt themselves etc

▪ Bill was in the kitchen, keeping a watchful eye on the children as he prepared lunch.

▷ vigilant /ˈvɪdʒɪlənt, ˈvɪdʒələnt/ [adjective]

someone who is vigilant is always watching to see what happens, especially to see if anyone is doing anything wrong or illegal :

▪ To combat thieves, it is important for staff to be vigilant at all times.

vigilance [uncountable noun]

▪ Constant public vigilance is required to combat this kind of terrorism.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .