watchman

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See also: Watchman

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English waccheman, equivalent to watch +‎ -man.

Noun[edit]

watchman (plural watchmen)

  1. One set to watch; a person who keeps guard, especially one who guards a building, or the streets of a city, by night.
    • 1829, Edward Bulwer Lytton, chapter XVIII, in The Disowned[1]:
      The visits of the watchman to that (then) obscure and ill-inhabited neighborhood were more regulated by his indolence than his duty; and Clarence knew that it would be in vain to listen for his cry or tarry for his assistance.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 8:
      Well, it so happened that Stine and the cook were sitting in their room one evening, mending and darning their things; it was near bedtime, for the watchman had already sung out "Ten o'clock," but somehow the darning and the sewing went on very slowly indeed[.]

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