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watchdog

[woch-dawg, -dog] /ˈwɒtʃˌdɔg, -ˌdɒg/
noun
1.
a dog kept to guard property.
2.
a watchful guardian:
a self-appointed watchdog of the public morals.
adjective
3.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a watchdog.
4.
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.
5.
to watch carefully, especially so as to detect illegal or unethical conduct.
Origin of watchdog
1600-1610
1600-10; watch + dog
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for watchdog
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Dr. Grayle was awaiting her in the corridor, a watchdog, patient and placid.

    The Castle Of The Shadows Alice Muriel Williamson
  • "Perhaps he feels as if he were our watchdog, Babbie," she said.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • His instinct was merely to remain there, like a watchdog, and never take his eyes off her till the time came for him to spring.

    "Persons Unknown" Virginia Tracy
  • And then the "watchdog" exhibited the first evidence of spirit that it had ever been known to show.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • The watchdog at the gate can size up a swindler as well as a man.

British Dictionary definitions for watchdog

watchdog

/ˈwɒtʃˌdɒɡ/
noun
1.
a dog kept to guard property
2.
  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
n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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18
19
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