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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World English Dictionary
watchword (ˈwɒtʃˌwɜːd)
1.  another word for password
2.  a rallying cry or slogan

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, "password," from watch (n.) in the military sense of "period of standing guard duty" + word. In the sense of "motto, slogan" it dates from 1738.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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
The watchword now is transformation, not construction.
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