Why was clemency trending last week?


[woch-dawg, -dog] /ˈwɒtʃˌdɔg, -ˌdɒg/
a dog kept to guard property.
a watchful guardian:
a self-appointed watchdog of the public morals.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a watchdog.
organized or functioning as a watchful guardian, especially against illegal or unethical conduct:
a watchdog group in the legislature.
verb (used with object), watchdogged, watchdogging.
to watch carefully, especially so as to detect illegal or unethical conduct.
Origin of watchdog
1600-10; watch + dog Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for watchdog
  • Think of it as a watchdog guarding against starvation by monitoring body fat.
  • But watchdog groups say that the system's reliance on self-reporting means its data are fundamentally flawed.
  • But the newspaper's watchdog on journalistic ethics missed the point.
  • The left-leaning government-watchdog group studied regents' donations both before and after their appointments for its report.
  • Academia, with its left leaning views prides itself as a watchdog.
  • We can't rely on watchdog groups and peer-reviewed papers that take years to get published.
  • We believe there is no problem with the software, which has cleared the domestic ratings of an ethics watchdog body.
  • The basic issues have to do with distancing the hens from the watchdog.
  • Then, if you end up in a sketchy area, your mobile will switch into watchdog mode.
  • The watchdog's tough line on longevity is not the only worry for firms with final-salary schemes.
British Dictionary definitions for watchdog


a dog kept to guard property
  1. a person or group of persons that acts as a protector or guardian against inefficiency, illegal practices, etc
  2. (as modifier): a watchdog committee
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 watchdog

c.1600, from watch (v.) + dog (n.). Figurative sense is attested from 1845.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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