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watch fire

a fire maintained during the night as a signal and for providing light and warmth for guards.
Origin of watch fire
1795-1805 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for watch-fire
Historical Examples
  • Saying which, they walked on without speaking, till they arrived where the others were standing around the watch-fire.

    The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete Charles James Lever (1806-1872)
  • Your face has flitted out of my watch-fire, and then I have been a haunted man.

    Anna the Adventuress E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • The watch-fire, by which we sat, had almost burnt out before we had ceased talking, and I had not then told her half I had to say.

    Fred Markham in Russia W. H. G. Kingston
  • We had scarcely sat down to tea round our watch-fire when curious shrieks and shouts—most unearthly sounds—reached our ears.

    Peter Biddulph W.H.G. Kingston
  • Waverley did so, and beheld an outpost of four or five soldiers lying by their watch-fire.

    Waverley Sir Walter Scott
  • Taking Edith by the hand, Baroness Baradlay advanced toward the first watch-fire.

  • The red warriors, forty in number, were seated in a circle round their watch-fire smoking their tomahawks in moody silence.

    The Wild Man of the West R.M. Ballantyne
  • Whether meteor or watch-fire, it lit the way to Robert Bruce's throne.

  • The Arab figures and conversation round the watch-fire were romantic enough.

  • No column of smoke rising above the trees to tell of the watch-fire of white man or red.

    The Wild Man of the West R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for watch-fire

watch fire

a fire kept burning at night as a signal or for warmth and light by a person keeping watch
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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