WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2018
watch /wɑtʃ/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to look (at) with attention;
    observe: [no object]The children watched carefully as the magician removed a rabbit from his hat.[+ object]had a feeling that he was being watched.[+ object + root form of verb]watched the magician remove a rabbit from the hat.[+ object + verb-ing]The children watched the magician removing a rabbit from his hat.
  2. to view with attention or interest:[+ object]to watch TV.
  3. to wait with attention:[no object]We watched for the signal.
  4. to be careful or cautious:[no object;  (~ + out)]Watch (out) when you cross the street.
  5. to guard, take care of, or tend, so as to prevent harm or danger from happening to (oneself or another):[+ object]Watch the baby while I go to the store.
  6. watch over, [+ object] to safeguard;
    protect:watched over her and protected her from harm.

  1. close, continuous observation or guard:[countable;  usually singular]kept a close watch on the patient.
  2. Time[countable] a portable timepiece, as a wristwatch.
  3. Naval Terms
    • Nautical[uncountable] a period of time, usually four hours, during which a part of a ship's crew is on duty.
    • Nautical[countable] the crew who are on duty during this time.
  4. [countable] a lookout, guard, or sentinel.
  1. Idiomson the watch, vigilant;
  2. Idiomswatch it, Informal. to be careful, alert, or esp. cautious regarding one's behavior.
  3. Idiomswatch oneself, to practice caution or exhibit careful behavior.

  • Idiomswatch one's step, to proceed with caution.
  • watch•er, n. [countable]

    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2018
    watch  (woch),USA pronunciation 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.

    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: 
      • to be cautious.
      • 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.

    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. Timea small, portable timepiece, as a wrist watch or pocket watch.
    6. Timea chronometer.
    7. [Naut.]
      • Nauticala period of time, usually four hours, during which one part of a ship's crew is on duty, taking turns with another part.
      • Nauticalthe officers and crew who attend to the working of a ship for an allotted period of time.
    8. Antiquityone 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. MeteorologyAlso called  storm watch. 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.
    • bef. 900; 1580–90 for def. 18; (verb, verbal) Middle English wacchen, Old English wæccan, doublet of wacian to be awake (see wake1); (noun, nominal) Middle English wacche, Old English wæcce, derivative of wæccan
      • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Watch, look, see imply being aware of things around one by perceiving them through the eyes. To
        watch is to be a spectator, to look on or observe, or to fix the attention upon during passage of time:to watch while a procession passes.To
        look is to direct the gaze with the intention of seeing, to use the eyesight with attention:to look for violets in the spring; to look at articles displayed for sale.To
        see is to perceive with the eyes, to obtain a visual impression, with or without fixing the attention:animals able to see in the dark.
      • 9.See corresponding entry in Unabridged await.
      • 10.See corresponding entry in Unabridged protect.
      • 14.See corresponding entry in Unabridged inspection, attention.
      • 15.See corresponding entry in Unabridged vigil.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    watch /wɒtʃ/ vb
    1. to look at or observe closely or attentively
    2. (intransitive) followed by for: to wait attentively or expectantly
    3. to guard or tend (something) closely or carefully
    4. (intransitive) to keep vigil
    5. (transitive) to maintain an interest in: to watch the progress of a child at school
    6. watch it!be careful! look out!
    1. a small portable timepiece, usually worn strapped to the wrist (a wristwatch) or in a waistcoat pocket
    2. (as modifier): a watch spring
    3. a period of vigil, esp during the night
    4. (formerly) one of a set of periods of any of various lengths into which the night was divided
    5. any of the usually four-hour periods beginning at midnight and again at noon during which part of a ship's crew are on duty
    6. those officers and crew on duty during a specified watch
    7. the period during which a guard is on duty
    8. (formerly) a watchman or band of watchmen
    9. on the watchon the lookout; alert

    See also watch outEtymology: Old English wæccan (vb), wæcce (n); related to wake1

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