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[woch-wurd] /ˈwɒtʃˌwɜrd/
a word or short phrase to be communicated, on challenge, to a sentinel or guard; password or countersign.
a word or phrase expressive of a principle or rule of action; slogan:
Conservation has been our watchword.
a rallying cry of a party, club, team, etc.
1350-1400; Middle English; see watch, word
1, 2. shibboleth. 3. motto. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for watchword
  • Career experts agree that the watchword for the future is change.
  • Accountability has become the watchword of education and data hold a central place in large-scale reform.
  • Continuity is becoming a watchword in many organizations, especially public service.
  • The watchword now is transformation, not construction.
  • Stress has become a modern watchword with a variety of meanings, both popular and scientific.
  • Remember, all wild animals are unpredictable and caution is the watchword when they are around.
  • Safety is the watchword of modern military operations.
  • But although growth was the watchword in the twentieth century, many commentators now predict a slowdown in program growth.
  • So it is, financial stability has become the watchword of the global economy.
  • Our watchword first, foremost, and always is investor protection.
British Dictionary definitions for watchword


another word for password
a rallying cry or slogan
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 watchword

also watch-word, c.1400, "password," from watch (n.) in the military sense of "period of standing guard duty" + word (n.). In the sense of "motto, slogan" it dates from 1738.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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