noun Date: 15th century 1. a word or phrase used as a sign of recognition among members of the same society, class, or group 2. a. a word or motto that embodies a principle or guide to action of an individual or group ; slogan <
“safety” is our watchword
b. a guiding principle <
change is the watchword for both parties

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Watchword — Watch word , n. 1. A word given to sentinels, and to such as have occasion to visit the guards, used as a signal by which a friend is known from an enemy, or a person who has a right to pass the watch from one who has not; a countersign; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • watchword — index catchword, indicant, phrase Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • watchword — (n.) also watch word, c.1400, password, from WATCH (Cf. watch) (n.) in the military sense of period of standing guard duty + WORD (Cf. word) (n.). In the sense of motto, slogan it dates from 1738 …   Etymology dictionary

  • watchword — ► NOUN 1) a word or phrase expressing a core aim or belief. 2) archaic a military password …   English terms dictionary

  • watchword — [wächwʉrd΄, wôchwʉrd΄] n. 1. a password, or countersign 2. a word or phrase embodying a principle or precept, esp. one used as the slogan or cry of a group or party …   English World dictionary

  • watchword — UK [ˈwɒtʃˌwɜː(r)d] / US [ˈwɑtʃˌwɜrd] noun [countable] Word forms watchword : singular watchword plural watchwords a word or phrase that expresses someone s attitude or intention Quality is our watchword …   English dictionary

  • watchword — [[t]wɒ̱tʃwɜː(r)d[/t]] watchwords N COUNT: oft with poss Someone s watchword is a word or phrase that sums up their attitude or approach to a particular subject or to things in general. Caution has been one of Mr Allan s watchwords... You don t… …   English dictionary

  • watchword — /woch werrd /, n. 1. a word or short phrase to be communicated, on challenge, to a sentinel or guard; password or countersign. 2. a word or phrase expressive of a principle or rule of action; slogan: Conservation has been our watchword. 3. a… …   Universalium

  • watchword — watch|word [ˈwɔtʃwə:d US ˈwa:tʃwə:rd, ˈwo:tʃ ] n [singular] a word or phrase that expresses an attitude or belief ▪ Environmental quality will be the watchword for the 21st century …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • watchword — watch|word [ watʃ,wɜrd ] noun count a word or phrase that expresses someone s attitude or intention: Quality is our watchword …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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