From Middle English bewaken (“to watch”), from Old English *bewacian (“to watch, observe”), from Proto-Germanic *bi- (“be-”), *wakjaną (“to wake, watch”), from Proto-Indo-European *weǵ- (“to be awake, be fresh or cheerful”), equivalent to be- + wake. Cognate with Dutch bewaken (“to watch over, guard”), German bewachen (“to guard”), Swedish bevaka (“to watch, guard, monitor”). More at be-, wake.
- (transitive, obsolete) To watch; keep watch over; guard.
- (transitive) To awaken thoroughly; keep awake.
- (transitive) To spend waking; watch through.
- (intransitive) To keep awake; watch.
- (transitive, obsolete) (of a corpse or dead body) To watch over; observe funeral rites for.