W w


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [woch-fuh l]
    • /ˈwɒtʃ fəl/
    • /ˈwɒtʃ.fəl/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [woch-fuh l]
    • /ˈwɒtʃ fəl/

Definitions of watchful word

  • adjective watchful vigilant or alert; closely observant: The sentry remained watchful throughout the night. 1
  • adjective watchful Archaic. wakeful. 1
  • adjective watchful Someone who is watchful notices everything that is happening. 0
  • adjective watchful vigilant or alert 0
  • adjective watchful not sleeping 0
  • adjective watchful watching closely; vigilant; alert 0

Information block about the term

Origin of watchful

First appearance:

before 1540
One of the 30% oldest English words
First recorded in 1540-50; watch + -ful

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Watchful


watchful popularity

A pretty common term. Usually people know it’s meaning, but prefer to use a more spread out synonym. About 66% of English native speakers know the meaning and use word.
This word is included in each student's vocabulary. Most likely there is at least one movie with this word in the title.

watchful usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for watchful

adj watchful

  • advertent — paying attention; heedful
  • alive to — fully aware of; perceiving
  • all ears — If someone says that they are all ears, they mean that they are ready and eager to listen.
  • anxious — If you are anxious to do something or anxious that something should happen, you very much want to do it or very much want it to happen.
  • apperceptive — conscious perception.

adv watchful

  • asleep at the switch — a slender, flexible shoot, rod, etc., used especially in whipping or disciplining.

adjective watchful

  • alert — If you are alert, you are paying full attention to things around you and are able to deal with anything that might happen.
  • arrect — (of animals' ears) pricked up
  • awake — Someone who is awake is not sleeping.
  • beady — Beady eyes are small, round, and bright.
  • careful — If you are careful, you give serious attention to what you are doing, in order to avoid harm, damage, or mistakes. If you are careful to do something, you make sure that you do it.

adverb watchful

  • asleep — Someone who is asleep is sleeping.
  • derelict — A place or building that is derelict is empty and in a bad state of repair because it has not been used or lived in for a long time.
  • negligent — guilty of or characterized by neglect, as of duty: negligent officials.

Antonyms for watchful

adj watchful

  • advertent — paying attention; heedful
  • clear-sighted — If you describe someone as clear-sighted, you admire them because they are able to understand situations well and to make sensible judgments and decisions about them.
  • defensive — You use defensive to describe things that are intended to protect someone or something.
  • guarded — cautious; careful; prudent: to be guarded in one's speech.
  • intentive — Paying attention; attentive, heedful.

adjective watchful

  • heeding — to give careful attention to: He did not heed the warning.
  • looking — to turn one's eyes toward something or in some direction in order to see: He looked toward the western horizon and saw the returning planes.
  • noticing — an announcement or intimation of something impending; warning: a day's notice.
  • observant — quick to notice or perceive; alert.
  • observative — Observant; watchful.

Top questions with watchful

  • what does watchful mean?
  • what is watchful waiting?
  • why should project teams be watchful for constructive change orders?

See also

Matching words

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