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watch night

the last night of the year, observed in a watch meeting.
Origin of watch night
1735-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for watch-night

watch night

noun (in Protestant churches)
  1. the night of December 24, during which a service is held to mark the arrival of Christmas Day
  2. the night of December 31, during which a service is held to mark the passing of the old year and the beginning of the new
the service held on either of these nights
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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