English

Definition of watch verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    watch

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//wɒtʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɑːtʃ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they watch
    BrE BrE//wɒtʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɑːtʃ//
     
    he / she / it watches
    BrE BrE//ˈwɒtʃɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɑːtʃɪz//
     
    past simple watched
    BrE BrE//wɒtʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɑːtʃt//
     
    past participle watched
    BrE BrE//wɒtʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɑːtʃt//
     
    -ing form watching
    BrE BrE//ˈwɒtʃɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɑːtʃɪŋ//
     
    Watching TV
     
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  1. 1  [transitive, intransitive] to look at somebody/something for a time, paying attention to what happens watch somebody/something to watch television/a football game watch something for something He watched the house for signs of activity. watch (for something) He watched for signs of activity in the house. ‘Would you like to play?’ ‘No thanks—I'll just watch.’ She stood and watched as the taxi drove off. We watched to see what would happen next. watch what, how, etc… Watch what I do, then you try. watch somebody/something doing something She watched the kids playing in the yard. watch somebody/something do something They watched the bus disappear into the distance. Synonymslookwatch see view observeThese words all mean to turn your eyes in a particular direction.look to turn your eyes in a particular direction:If you look carefully you can just see our house from here. She looked at me and smiled.watch to look at somebody/​something for a time, paying attention to what happens:to watch television Watch what I do, then you try.see to watch a game, television programme, performance, etc:In the evening we went to see a movie.view (formal) to look at something, especially when you look carefully; to watch television, a film/​movie, etc:People came from all over the world to view her work.watch, see or view?You can see/​view a film/​movie/​programme but you cannot:see/​view television. View is more formal than see and is used especially in business contexts.observe (formal) to watch somebody/​something carefully, especially to learn more about them or it:The patients were observed over a period of several months.Patterns to look/​watch for somebody/​something to watch/​observe what/​who/​how… to look/​watch/​view/​observe (somebody/​something) with amazement/​surprise/​disapproval, etc. to watch/​see/​view a film/​movie/​show/​programme to watch/​see a match/​game/​fight to look (at somebody/​something)/watch (somebody/​something)/observe somebody/​something carefully/​closely See related entries: Watching TV
  2. 2  [transitive] watch somebody/something (for somebody) to take care of somebody/something for a short time Could you watch my bags for me while I buy a paper?
  3. 3  (British English also mind) [transitive] (informal) to be careful about something watch something/yourself Watch yourself! (= be careful, because you're in a dangerous situation) Watch your bag—there are thieves around. I have to watch every penny (= be careful what I spend). Watch your head on the low ceiling. watch where, what, etc… Hey, watch where you're going!
  4. Word Origin Old English wæcce ‘watchfulness’, wæccende ‘remaining awake’; related to the verb wake. The sense ‘small timepiece’ probably developed by way of a sense ‘alarm device attached to a clock’.Extra examples He couldn’t get in touch with her, so he would just have to watch and wait. He leant in and kissed her as I watched enviously. He let me watch while he assembled the model. He watched with great interest how she coaxed the animals inside. I could see Robby watching curiously. I love just watching the world go by. I spent hours patiently watching the eagles. Maria asked Amelia to watch over her daughter. My father religiously watched the show every Friday night. She stood and watched them walk off down the road. She watched helplessly as her husband was dragged away. She watched in astonishment as he smashed the machine to pieces. She watched the man closely to see where he would go. The women were made to watch while their children were slaughtered. They could only watch in silence as their possessions were taken away. They stopped to watch the procession go by. They watched from an upstairs window. We watched for any sign of change in the weather. the most widely watched national news bulletins in the country ‘Would you like to play?’ ‘No thanks—I’ll just watch.’ A capacity crowd watched the semi-final. I only let my kids watch television at the weekends. This initiative is being closely watched by government regulators.Idioms
    mind/watch your language
     
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    to be careful about what you say in order not to upset or offend somebody Watch your language, young man!
    1. 1to walk carefully
    2. 2to behave in a careful and sensible way You’d better watch your step with him if you don’t want trouble.
    (disapproving) to be careful not to work longer than the required time; to think more about when your work will finish than about the work itself see also clock-watcher
    a watched pot never boils
     
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    (saying) used to say that when you are impatient for something to happen, time seems to pass very slowly
    (informal) used as a warning to somebody to be careful
    watch your mouth/tongue
     
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    to be careful what you say in order not to offend somebody or make them angry
    (informal) used in orders, to tell somebody to wait for more news about something to be announced I can't tell you any more right now, but watch this space. to be sure that you know what the time is, so that you finish something at the correct time, or are not late for something I'll have to watch the time. I need to leave early today. to relax and watch people in a public place We sat outside a cafe, watching the world go by.
    Phrasal Verbswatch for somebodywatch outwatch out for somebodywatch over somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: watch