From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishwatchwatch1 /wɒtʃ $ wɑːtʃ, wɒːtʃ/ ●●● S1 W1 verb 1 look [intransitive, transitive]LOOK AT to look at someone or something for a period of time, paying attention to what is happening Do you mind if I watch? We sat and watched the sunset.watch carefully/closely/intently etc He watched helplessly as Paula fell into the icy water. Watch carefully. You may learn something.watch (somebody/something) with interest/amusement/delight etc Harriet watched him with interest.watch somebody/something do/doing something I watched him go, then went home. Ruth could not bear to watch her parents arguing.watch to do something I watched to see how he’d react.watch television/a film etc The debate was watched by 97 million viewers. Most parents don’t know what their kids are watching on TV.watch what/how/when etc It’s useful to watch how other pilots handle the glider.2 be careful [transitive]CAREFUL to act carefully in order to avoid an accident or unwanted situationwatch (that) Watch he doesn’t run into the road. She’s a student and has to watch her budget closely. Watch your head on the shelf.watch what/how/where etc Silly old fool! Why doesn’t he watch where he’s going? Watch what you’re doing! It’s spilling everywhere! Watch yourself (=be careful) in Madrid; there are some rough areas.watch what you say/your tongue/your language/your mouth etc (=be careful not to hurt or offend people by what you say) Employees should watch what they say in personal emails.watch your weight/watch what you eat (=be careful not to get fat) He may be a former athlete, but he still has to watch his weight.3 pay attention [transitive] to pay attention to a situation that interests or worries you to see how it developswatch closely/carefully American companies are watching Japanese developments closely. The government will watch the progress of these schemes with interest.4 care for [transitive]LOOK AFTER somebody to stay with someone or something so that nothing bad happens to them She watches the kids for us occasionally.5 secretly [transitive]WATCH to secretly watch a person or place I feel like I’m being watched. 6 → watch your step7 → watch your back8 → watch the clock9 → watch the time10 → watch it11 → watch this space12 → one to watch13 → watch the world go by14 → you watch → watch somebody like a hawk at hawk1COLLOCATIONSnounswatch televisionWe watched television all evening.watch a programme/film/showThey were watching a film on TV.adverbscloselyI watched him closely while he was giving his evidence.carefullyShe watched very carefully and did exactly as he did.helplesslyHe watched helplessly as his son was swept away by the waves.intently (=with a lot of attention)Her father was watching her intently as she worked.phraseswith interest/amusement etcA small crowd of people were watching them with interest.in horror/amazement etcHe watched in horror as the flames engulfed his house. THESAURUSwatch to look at someone or something for a period of time and pay attention to what is happeningThey were all watching the game.I watched him get out of his car. We are watching carefully to see how the situation develops.keep an eye on somebody/something to watch someone or something carefully so that you are prepared if anything bad happensThe doctors are keeping a careful eye on her.Can you keep an eye on my bag for me?Keep an eye on house prices before you decide to sell.observe to watch someone or something carefully in order to learn more about themA 24-hour camera is being used to observe the birds’ behaviour.During your teacher training you will be encouraged to observe lessons.monitor to watch a situation carefully to see how it changes over a period of timeClass teachers are responsible for monitoring the progress of each student.Economists are monitoring the situation carefully.spy on somebody to watch someone secretly in order to find out what they are doingHe hired a private detective to spy on her.In the 1960s, government agencies were spying on everybody.someone who watches somethingspectator someone who watches an event, especially a sports eventThere were 4,500 spectators at the game.a crowd of spectatorsviewer someone who watches televisionMillions of television viewers listened to the president’s speech.programmes for younger viewersaudience the people who watch a play or performance, or the people who watch a particular television programmeThe audience roared with laughter and clapped.It attracted a television audience of seven million.onlooker someone who watches something happening without being involved in it, especially in the streetA man was standing on the roof, watched by a crowd of onlookers below.observer someone who watches and pays attention to particular situations and events, because they are interested in them, or it is their jobShe was a shrewd observer of human nature.a political observer who writes for The Independent newspaperThe United Nations has sent military observers to the Sudan. → watch (out) for something → watch out → watch over somebody→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuswatch• "Do you want to play too?" "No, thanks. I'll just watch."• Do you want to join in or just sit and watch?• He had the feeling that he was being watched.• I watched as the small boat disappeared over the horizon.• The Presidential debate was watched by over 10 million people.• My head twisted around to watch her as I walked.• Slowly, so that we can watch her face.• I shop there regularly and I've watched her gathering nuggets of people's lives.• It was mesmerizing to watch her, to see if she could make it.• The thieves had obviously been watching his house and knew when he was likely to be out.• They watched how he was forced to let Paul manage the navigation as he stood close by.• Many swimmers are videoed during training so they can watch how their performance improves.• We have watched hundreds of small firms collapse over the last few years.• She watched it slip and slide this way and that to fall at her feet.• He watches Julio listen for the sound and not hear it.• He watched Lux pour himself a half cup of coffee and sit down in front of the radios.• Detectives have been watching Mr Heskey's movements for some time.• Stay here and watch our bags while I go and buy some food.• Did you watch that programme about real life murders last night?• We watched the children playing on the beach.• Who can I get to watch the kids tonight?• She watched the man with interest as he made his way through the crowd.• Both candidates are watching the opinion polls carefully.• Ed likes to go to the park and watch the pigeons.• They watched the runners go past.• Don't let children play near water without an adult to watch them.• Watch your fingers - I'm closing the door.watch what/how/when etc• And, yes, it was possible that he was watching when I buried my purse in the luggage.• Lipchitz remembered her coming to watch when Modigliani painted his wedding portrait.• The researchers injected formalin into animals' paws and watched how often they licked the wound.• I watched how reluctant he looked to bet.• Tell him to watch what Schellenberg gets up to.• It is fascinating to watch how the judges in those dark times tricked women into their confessions.• Children have their fingers on the record button and watch what they like.• Artie Nusbaum is an experienced Schuster-watcher: He watches what we do.watch where ... going• Why don't you watch where you're going?• I learned to watch where I was going at all times.• Never watching where they are going, the people move through something prearranged, armed with lies.watch closely/carefully• Countries in the Middle East will be watching closely.• Price, coming off a year of virtual inactivity because of left foot surgery, will be watched closely.• That decision is being watched closely by investors.• As this is the stage at which material is actively removed, the sections should be watched carefully during this process.• The text needs to be watched closely for all may not be as it seems at first.• Matilda, watching closely, saw no signs of distress in the boy yet.• I watched closely the Britts and other successful men and women in this business.• During that day on Lulu, I watched closely the men who tended Alvin and envied them the challenge of their job.ldoce_349_awatchwatch2 ●●● S2 W3 noun 1 [countable]DTM a small clock that you wear on your wrist or keep in your pocket My watch has stopped.look at/glance at/consult your watch She glanced nervously at her watch. How do you keep track of time if you don’t wear a watch?2 [singular, uncountable]WARN when you watch someone or something carefully, or pay careful attention to them, so that you are ready to act if necessary The police arrived to keep watch on the mouth of the tunnel.watch on/over He maintained a 24-hour watch over his son. Security forces kept a close watch on our activities.3 → keep a watch out for somebody/something4 [countable]PROTECT a group of people whose job is to guard or protect someone or something We were arrested and held until the arrival of the night watch (=people responsible for keeping the streets safe at night, especially in past times). → neighbourhood watch5 [countable, uncountable]PREVENT a period of time when it is someone’s duty to stay somewhere and look for signs of danger The first watch is from now until midnight.on watch Who’s on watch tonight?COLLOCATIONSverbslook at/glance at your watchI looked at my watch. It was 4.30.check/consult your watchHe checked his watch and saw that it was only 2.15.a watch says ...My watch says twenty past one.put your watch forward (=make it show a later time)The passengers were reminded to put their watches forward three hours.put your watch back (=make it show an earlier time)On Saturday night, don’t forget to put your watch back an hour.set your watch (=make it show the correct time)I set my watch by the clock on the mantelpiece.wear a watchHe wore a gold watch.a watch stopsHer watch had stopped after getting wet in the sea.adjectivessomebody’s watch is fast/runs fast (=it shows a later time)No, it’s only 12.15 – your watch must be fast.somebody’s watch is slow/runs slow (=it shows an earlier time)'He’s late.' 'Maybe his watch is running slow.'
Examples from the Corpuswatch• After crossing the bridge Moran checked his watch and to their infinite relief started to walk quickly.• His watch said that it was nine-thirty, and he cringed to think of the time he had lost.• I felt oddly naked without my watch, I always do.• Noon meal formations will still be precisely at 12: 10, with tourists still standing watch.• He held the watch to his ear to see if it was working.• As a result, he was forced to lubricate the watch.• The captains knew all the tricks though, and were constantly on the watch.• He got three watches, some money, knives, and other things.wear ... watch• He was not even wearing a watch and he needed a shave.• Something about not wearing a watch, he ventured.• A few people never need to wear a watch because they always know what the time is.• Watches as well, everyone in the room was wearing a watch.kept a close watch• And the Committee has kept a close watch on the uses made by the broadcasters of parliamentary material in their programmes.• The inspector kept close watch of their arms and equipments and clothing.• Fortunately Scott was reasonably obedient as long as some one kept a close watch over him.night watch• But lack of sleep due to the four-hour night watches was a perfectly reasonable, if not wholly true, explanation for both.• We were all damp, tired, and did not look forward to managing Hsu Fu through the long night watches.• Also we stopped using our little paraffin lamp during the night watch, and used torches instead.• Our hand torches for the night watch began to break down.• Whilst others were only allowed to keep the night watch once each week, Nicholas undertook it three times.• It was the third hour of the night watch.• For the rest of the time it was a question of patience under uncomfortable conditions, particularly on the night watch.Origin watch1 Old English wæccan