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deathwatch

[deth-woch, -wawch] /ˈdɛθˌwɒtʃ, -ˌwɔtʃ/
noun
1.
a vigil beside a dying or dead person.
2.
a guard set over a condemned person before execution.
3.
Also called deathwatch beetle. any of several beetles of the family Anobiidae that make a ticking sound as they bore through wood: the sound was once believed to be an omen of death.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; death + watch
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for death-watch

deathwatch

/ˈdɛθˌwɒtʃ/
noun
1.
a vigil held beside a dying or dead person
2.
deathwatch beetle, a beetle, Xestobium rufovillosum, whose woodboring larvae are a serious pest. The adult produces a rapid tapping sound with its head that was once popularly supposed to presage death See also anobiid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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