a watch with a hand or hands that can be stopped or started at any instant, used for precise timing, as in races.

1730–40; stop + watch Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stopwatch (ˈstɒpˌwɒtʃ)
a type of watch used for timing events, such as sporting events, accurately, having a device for stopping the hand or hands instantly

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

also stop-watch, 1737, from stop + watch (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Read the paper out loud all the way through without stopping, and use a
  stopwatch to time the delivery.
The tools of his trade are simple--a stopwatch, a two-way radio, and a cell
  phone that never stops ringing.
If you had a stopwatch and timed that, it would take about one second.
Start and end your meetings according to a stopwatch that everyone in the room
  can see.
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