American English

Definition of watch noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a type of small clock that you wear on your wrist, or (in the past) carried in your pocket She kept looking anxiously at her watch. My watch is fast/slow. see also stopwatch, wristwatch
  2. 2[singular, uncountable] the act of watching someone or something carefully in case of possible danger or problems The police have mounted a watch outside the hotel. I'll keep watch while you go through his papers (= watch and warn you if someone is coming). The government is keeping a close watch on how the situation develops. see also neighborhood watch
  3. 3[countable, uncountable] a fixed period of time, usually while other people are asleep, during which someone watches for any danger so that they can warn others, for example on a ship; the person or people who do this I'm on first watch. I go on watch in an hour. see also night watchman
  4. Idioms
    be on the watch (for somebody/something)
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    to be looking carefully for someone or something that you expect to see, especially in order to avoid possible danger Be on the watch for thieves.
    keep a close eye/watch on somebody/something
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    to watch someone or something carefully Over the next few months we will keep a close eye on sales.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: watch