Check out new words added to


[woch-muh n] /ˈwɒtʃ mən/
noun, plural watchmen.
a person who keeps guard over a building at night, to protect it from fire, vandals, or thieves.
(formerly) a person who guards or patrols the streets at night.
Origin of watchman
late Middle English
1350-1400; late Middle English; see watch, man1
Related forms
watchmanly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for watchman
  • The watchman was fitted out with a helmet, gorget and a cloak.
  • We have likened the dream to the night watchman or sleep-defender who wishes to protect our sleep from being disturbed.
  • He first imposed law and order, restoring the state to its role as night-watchman rather than rogue.
  • Surprised, the night watchman ran to a boxcar for shelter.
  • Contributing to the accident was the watchman's failure to recognize that he was poorly positioned to perform his duties.
  • At night, a watchman would sit in the tower, ready to sound the alarm if he spotted a fire.
British Dictionary definitions for watchman


noun (pl) -men
a person employed to guard buildings or property
(formerly) a man employed to patrol or guard the streets at night
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for watchman

also watch-man, c.1400, "guard, sentinel, lookout" (late 12c. as a surname), figuratively "guardian, protector" (mid-15c.), from watch (n.) + man (n.). Also "person characterized by wakefulness" (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for watchman

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for watchman

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with watchman