9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[woch-fuh l] /ˈwɒtʃ fəl/
vigilant or alert; closely observant:
The sentry remained watchful throughout the night.
Archaic. wakeful.
Origin of watchful
1540-50; watch + -ful
Related forms
watchfully, adverb
watchfulness, noun
self-watchfulness, noun
unwatchful, adjective
unwatchfully, adverb
unwatchfulness, noun
1. attentive, heedful, careful, circumspect, cautious, wary. See alert. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for watchful
  • The three sports that have been under their watchful eye since the report's inception continue to post higher marks every year.
  • Others climbed on top of city vehicles, though they were quickly chased off by watchful police.
  • She accepted the fact that she might have a serious illness brewing, but watchful waiting was the only treatment option.
  • At the same time, nature has ways of surprising us, and it pays to be watchful.
  • Even illegal doping is under the watchful gaze of a team of professional athletic doctors, trainers and nutritionists.
  • Besides goats, you need to keep a watchful eye out for an alien octopus that may destroy a wind turbine near you soon.
  • Wild saddleback tamarins appear constantly scared and watchful.
  • Ever alert, a mongoose keeps a watchful eye on its surroundings.
  • The priceless treasures of the museum are under the watchful eye of these cats.
  • It's a watchful and masculine place, beautiful and thwarted.
British Dictionary definitions for watchful


vigilant or alert
(archaic) not sleeping
Derived Forms
watchfully, adverb
watchfulness, noun
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 watchful

c.1500, waccheful, from watch (v.) + -ful. Related: Watchfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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