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watch +‎ dog



watchdog (plural watchdogs)

  1. A guard dog.
  2. (figuratively) An individual or group that monitors the activities of another entity (such as an individual, corporation, non-profit group, or governmental organization) on behalf of the public to ensure that entity does not behave illegally or unethically.
    • 2020 May 20, “Network News: Watchdogs say clear guidance needed to reassure passengers”, in Rail, page 9:
      Governments must "outline how they will reassure passengers that it will be as safe as possible to travel by public transport", according to industry watchdogs Transport Focus and London TravelWatch.
    • 2022 January 9, Dan Milmo, “UK data watchdog seeks talks with Meta over child protection concerns”, in The Guardian[1]:
      The UK’s data watchdog is seeking clarification from Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta about parental controls on its popular virtual reality headset, as campaigners warned that it could breach an online children’s safety code.
  3. (electronics, computing) Ellipsis of watchdog timer

Derived terms[edit]



watchdog (third-person singular simple present watchdogs, present participle watchdogging, simple past and past participle watchdogged)

  1. To perform a function analogous to that of a watchdog; to guard and warn.
  2. (electronics) To be continuously reset by a watchdog timer.