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watchman

[woch-muh n] /ˈwɒtʃ mən/
noun, plural watchmen.
1.
a person who keeps guard over a building at night, to protect it from fire, vandals, or thieves.
2.
(formerly) a person who guards or patrols the streets at night.
Origin of watchman
late Middle English
1350-1400
1350-1400; late Middle English; see watch, man1
Related forms
watchmanly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for watchman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What was the exact time at which the watchman's watch stopped?

    Amusements in Mathematics Henry Ernest Dudeney
  • "Aye, it is the steel head-piece of the watchman," remarked the archer.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • But she found the night watchman making coffee in a back pantry, and gave him her message.

    Love Stories Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Far down at the other end of the gallery they could hear the watchman coming.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • At the door of this chamber they found Peyrou, the watchman, who anxiously awaited news from his old captain.

    The Knight of Malta Eugene Sue
British Dictionary definitions for watchman

watchman

/ˈwɒtʃmən/
noun (pl) -men
1.
a person employed to guard buildings or property
2.
(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
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Word Origin and History for watchman
n.

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
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18
20
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