Meaning of WATCH in English


v. & n.


1. tr. keep the eyes fixed on; look at attentively.

2 tr. a keep under observation; follow observantly. b monitor or consider carefully; pay attention to (have to watch my weight; watched their progress with interest).

3 intr. (often foll. by for) be in an alert state; be vigilant; take heed (watch for the holes in the road; watch for an opportunity).

4 intr. (foll. by over) look after; take care of.

5 intr. archaic remain awake for devotions etc.


1. a small portable timepiece for carrying on one's person.

2 a state of alert or constant observation or attention.

3 Naut. a a four-hour spell of duty. b (in full starboard or port watch) each of the halves, divided according to the position of the bunks, into which a ship's crew is divided to take alternate watches.

4 hist. a watchman or group of watchmen, esp. patrolling the streets at night.

5 a former division of the night.

6 a period of wakefulness at night.

7 hist. irregular Highland troops in the 18th c.

Phrases and idioms:

on the watch waiting for an expected or feared occurrence. set the watch Naut. station sentinels etc. watch-case the outer metal case enclosing the works of a watch. watch-chain a metal chain for securing a pocket-watch. Watch Committee hist. (in the UK) the committee of a county borough council dealing with policing etc. watch-glass

1. a glass disc covering the dial of a watch.

2 a similar disc used in a laboratory etc. to hold material for use in experiments. watching brief see BRIEF. watch it (or oneself) colloq. be careful.


1. the last night of the year.

2 a religious service held on this night.

watch out

1. (often foll. by for) be on one's guard.

2 as a warning of immediate danger. watch-spring the mainspring of a watch. watch one's step proceed cautiously. watch-strap esp. Brit. a strap for fastening a watch on the wrist. watch-tower a tower from which observation can be kept.


watchable adj. watcher n. (also in comb.).

Etymology: OE w{aelig}cce (n.), rel. to WAKE(1)

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.