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Meaning of “watch” in the English Dictionary

"watch" in British English

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watchverb

uk   /wɒtʃ/ us   /wɑːtʃ/
  • watch verb (LOOK AT)

A1 [I or T] to look at something for a period of time, especially something that is changing or moving: I had dinner and watched TV for a couple of hours. He spent the entire afternoon watching a cricket match. [+ obj + infinitive without to ] I watched him get into a cab. I got the feeling I was being watched. [+ obj + -ing verb ] I sit by the window and watch people walking past. [+ question word] Just watch how he slides that ball in past the goalkeeper. Bonner watched helplessly as they drove away without him. She'll pretend that she hasn't seen us - you watch.
[T] to stay with someone or something, such as a child, for a short time to make certain that he, she, or it is safe: If you want me to watch the kids for a couple of hours while you go out, just let me know. Could you watch my bags for me, while I go to the toilet?

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  • watch verb (BE CAREFUL)

B2 [T] to be careful of something: I have to watch my weight (= be careful not to become too heavy) now I'm not exercising so much. Watch your language (= do not use rude words), young man! [+ (that)] Watch (that) you don't get glue on your fingers. [+ question word] Watch what you're doing with that knife, Jim, it's sharp. You need to watch him - he's a strange character.

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  • You need to watch those car dealers.
  • Watch the mosquitos - they can give you a nasty bite.
  • Watch what you're doing with that stick!.

watchnoun

uk   /wɒtʃ/ us   /wɑːtʃ/
  • watch noun (SMALL CLOCK)

A1 [C] a small clock that is worn on a strap around the wrist or, sometimes, connected to a piece of clothing by a chain: My watch seems to have stopped (= stopped working). He glanced nervously at his watch.

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  • watch noun (LOOKING)

[S or U] the activity of watching or giving attention to something or someone, especially to make certain nothing bad happens: The police keep a close watch on gang members. The soldiers slept at night, except for one who stayed awake on watch/to keep watch.
[S] a person or group of soldiers or guards whose duty is to protect a person, place, or thing from danger or attack
[C] a particular period of time during which a person or a group of soldiers or guards has the duty of protecting and warning of danger: the night watch

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(Definition of watch from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"watch" in American English

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watchnoun

us   /wɑtʃ, wɔtʃ/
  • watch noun (SMALL CLOCK)

[C] a small clock usually worn on a strap around the wrist, or sometimes carried in a pocket: She looked at her watch and said, "It’s a quarter to five."
  • watch noun (LOOKING AT)

[C/U] an act of guarding someone or something to make sure the person or property stays safe and in the right place: [U] The prison guards kept a close watch on him.
[C/U] Watch is also a period during which someone is responsible for guarding or looking around to be sure that property or people are safe, or the person who is responsible: [C] The soldiers on the night watch had to be careful not to fall asleep.

watchverb

us   /wɑtʃ, wɔtʃ/
  • watch verb (LOOK AT)

to look at something for a period of time: [T] He spent the evening watching an old movie on TV. [+ to infinitive] The police were watching to see who left the house. [T] Do you want me to watch the kids (= notice what they are doing and care for them) when you go out?
  • watch verb (BE CAREFUL)

[T] to be careful of something: We have to watch our bank account to make sure there’s enough money in it to pay our credit card bills. I’ve got to start watching my weight (= be careful not to become fat). The sign says "Watch for (= be careful of) falling rocks."
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of watch from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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