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night watch

a watch or guard kept during the night.
a person or the persons keeping such a watch.
Usually, night watches. the periods or divisions into which the night was divided in ancient times.
Origin of night watch
before 1000; Middle English; Old English
Related forms
night watching, noun

Night Watch, The

a painting (1642) by Rembrandt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for night-watch
Historical Examples
  • The night-watch went his rounds in many of our colonial towns, and called the hour and the weather.

    Stage-coach and Tavern Days Alice Morse Earle
  • Since that night-watch at Pine Tree Ranch, he had been a different man.

    The Transformation of Job Frederick Vining Fisher
  • Everywhere we encountered the New York policemen who had taken the place of the night-watch of 1833.

    Children of the Market Place Edgar Lee Masters
  • The first record of these was made by McLean, when on night-watch on March 22.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • We will pay the Chartreuse a visit in broad daylight after breakfast, which will not interfere in the least with your night-watch.

    The Companions of Jehu Alexandre Dumas, pre
  • He listened for the step of the policeman on night-watch, because he did not wish to be seen.

    The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • With this taciturn Frenchwoman I entered upon my night-watch by Minima, whose raving no one could understand but myself.

    The Doctor's Dilemma Hesba Stretton
  • She'd last about half a night-watch out there—say out where old 67 is to-night.

    Wide Courses James Brendan Connolly
  • Often in a night-watch did my thoughts recur to Julia Sumner.

    Hurricane Hurry W.H.G. Kingston
  • The herald, as usual, constituted himself a night-watch, and perched upon the newly made mound.

British Dictionary definitions for night-watch

night watch

a watch or guard kept at night, esp for security
the period of time the watch is kept
a person who keeps such a watch; night watchman
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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Word Origin and History for night-watch

"guard kept during the night," late Old English; see night + watch (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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