W w


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [woch-wurd]
    • /ˈwɒtʃˌwɜrd/
    • /ˈwɒtʃ.wɜːd/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [woch-wurd]
    • /ˈwɒtʃˌwɜrd/

Definitions of watchword word

  • noun watchword a word or short phrase to be communicated, on challenge, to a sentinel or guard; password or countersign. 1
  • noun watchword a word or phrase expressive of a principle or rule of action; slogan: Conservation has been our watchword. 1
  • noun watchword a rallying cry of a party, club, team, etc. 1
  • noun watchword A word or phrase expressing a person‘s or group’s core aim or belief. 1
  • noun watchword motto 1
  • countable noun watchword Someone's watchword is a word or phrase that sums up their attitude or approach to a particular subject or to things in general. 0

Information block about the term

Origin of watchword

First appearance:

before 1350
One of the 20% oldest English words
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at watch, word

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Watchword


watchword popularity

A pretty common term. Usually people know it’s meaning, but prefer to use a more spread out synonym. About 63% of English native speakers know the meaning and use word.
According to our data about 56% of words is more used. This is a rare but used term. It occurs in the pages of specialized literature and in the speech of educated people.

watchword usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for watchword

noun watchword

  • motto — a maxim adopted as an expression of the guiding principle of a person, organization, city, etc.
  • slogan — a distinctive cry, phrase, or motto of any party, group, manufacturer, or person; catchword or catch phrase.
  • maximHiram Percy, 1869–1936, U.S. inventor.
  • byword — Someone or something that is a byword for a particular quality is well known for having that quality.
  • catch phrase — a phrase that attracts or is meant to attract attention.

Top questions with watchword

  • what is a watchword?
  • what does watchword mean?

See also

Matching words

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