Language: Old English
Origin: wæccan


1 verb
watch1 S1 W1


[intransitive and transitive] to look at someone or something for a period of time, paying attention to what is happening:
Do you mind if I watch?
We sat and watched the sunset.
watch carefully/closely/intently etc
He watched helplessly as Paula fell into the icy water.
Watch carefully. You may learn something.
watch somebody/something do/doing something
I watched him go, then went home.
Ruth could not bear to watch her parents arguing.
watch to do something
I watched to see how he'd react.
watch television/a film etc
The debate was watched by 97 million viewers.
Most parents don't know what their kids are watching on TV.
watch what/how/when etc
It's useful to watch how other pilots handle the glider.
see usage note see1

be careful

[transitive] to act carefully in order to avoid an accident or unwanted situation
watch (that)
Watch he doesn't run into the road.
She's a student and has to watch her budget closely.
Watch your head on the shelf.
watch what/how/where etc
Silly old fool! Why doesn't he watch where he's going?
Watch what you're doing! It's spilling everywhere!
Watch yourself (=be careful) in Madrid; there are some rough areas.
watch what you say/your tongue/your language/your mouth etc (=be careful not to hurt or offend people by what you say)
Employees should watch what they say in personal emails.
watch your weight/watch what you eat (=be careful not to get fat)
He may be a former athlete, but he still has to watch his weight.

pay attention

[transitive] to pay attention to a situation that interests or worries you to see how it develops
watch closely/carefully
American companies are watching Japanese developments closely.
The government will watch the progress of these schemes with interest.

care for

[transitive] to stay with someone or something so that nothing bad happens to them:
She watches the kids for us occasionally.


[transitive] to secretly watch a person or place:
I feel like I'm being watched.

watch your step

informal to be careful, especially about making someone angry:
He soon saw he'd have to watch his step with some of these guys.

watch your back

informal to be careful because other people may try to harm you

watch the clock

informal to keep looking at the time because you are worried or bored:
anxious mums watching the clock

watch the time

to make sure you know what time it is to avoid being late

watch it

spoken used to warn someone to be careful:
Watch it, there's a car.

watch this space

informalTCN used to tell people to pay attention in the future because things are going to develop further - used especially in newspapers

one to watch

someone or something that people should pay attention to because they are interesting or exciting:
In the tournament so far, Italy's Stefania Croce looks like the one to watch.

watch the world go by

to relax outside by just looking at the people around you:
lingering in a pavement cafe, watching the world go by

you watch

informal used to tell someone that you know what will happen:
He'll win this time, you watch.

➔ watch somebody like a hawk

at hawk1

watch (out) for something

phrasal verb
to pay close attention in a particular situation because you are expecting something to happen or you want to avoid something bad:
She stepped outside to watch for the cab.
What problems should I watch out for when buying an old house?

watch out

phrasal verb
used to tell someone to be careful:
You'll become an alcoholic if you don't watch out.

watch over somebody

phrasal verb
to protect someone so that they are not harmed:
There must have been an angel watching over me that day.

see, watch, look at
See means to notice something with your eyes, either deliberately or accidentally I saw a great film last week. A few people saw him take the bag.Watch means to deliberately pay attention to something for quite a long time They were all watching the game on TV. He watched her leave.When you look at something, you deliberately turn your eyes towards it in order to see it There was a loud noise and everyone looked at the screen.!! You can see something on television or watch television, but do not say 'see television' After I finish my homework I usually watch television.See also see

Dictionary results for "watch"
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