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Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary
  • Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary offers learners of English detailed coverage of today’s language. Written in simple, natural English, this dictionary is exceptionally easy to use and understand. The examples, which have all been taken from the Bank of English®, part of the prestigious Collins Word Web, are invaluable in providing context for words and phrases. The user will also have quick and easy access to grammatical information and additional information on synonyms, pragmatics and frequency. Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary - the complete reference tool for learners of English. Bank of English® is a registered trademark of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.


  1. [wɒ̱tʃ]


    watches, watching, watched

    (Please look at category 15 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.)

    1. VERB If you watch someone or something, you look at them, usually for a period of time, and pay attention to what is happening.

    2. VERB If you watch something on television or an event such as a sports match, you spend time looking at it, especially when you see it from the beginning to the end.

    3. VERB If you watch a situation or event, you pay attention to it or you are aware of it, but you do not influence it.

    4. VERB If you watch people, especially children or animals, you are responsible for them, and make sure that they are not in danger.

    5. VERB If you watch someone, you follow them secretly or spy on them.

    6. VERB If you tell someone to watch a particular person or thing, you are warning them to be careful that the person or thing does not get out of control or do something unpleasant.

    7. N-COUNT A watch is a period of carefully looking and listening, often while other people are asleep and often as a military duty, so that you can warn them of danger or an attack.

    8. PHRASE: V inflects If someone keeps watch, they look and listen all the time, while other people are asleep or doing something else, so that they can warn them of danger or an attack.

    9. PHRASE: V inflects, usu PHR on n If you keep watch on events or a situation, you pay attention to what is happening, so that you can take action at the right moment.

    10. PHRASE You say `watch it' in order to warn someone to be careful, especially when you want to threaten them about what will happen if they are not careful.

    11. PHRASE: v-link PHR, PHR after v If someone is on watch, they have the job of carefully looking and listening, often while other people are asleep and often as a military duty, so that they can warn them of danger or an attack.

    12. PHRASE: v-link PHR, oft PHR for n If you are on the watch for something, you are expecting it to happen and you therefore pay attention to events so that you will notice it when it does happen.

    13. PHRASE: PHR after v, v-link PHR If someone is being kept under watch, they are being guarded or observed all the time.

    14. PHRASE You say to someone `you watch' or `just watch' when you are predicting that something will happen, and you are very confident that it will happen as you say.

    15. watch this space see space

      watch your step see step

  2. [wɒ̱tʃ]





    A watch is a small clock which you wear on a strap on your wrist, or on a chain.

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wɒ̱tʃPlease look at category 15 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.

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Word forms


Common casewatchwatches
Possessive casewatch'swatches'


Basic forms
Present Participle (Participle I)watching
Past Participle (Participle II)watched
Present Indefinite, Active Voice
I watchwe watch
you watchyou watch
he/she/it watchesthey watch
Present Continuous, Active Voice
I am watchingwe are watching
you are watchingyou are watching
he/she/it is watchingthey are watching
Present Perfect, Active Voice
I have watchedwe have watched
you have watchedyou have watched
he/she/it has watchedthey have watched
Present Perfect Continuous, Active Voice
I have been watchingwe have been watching
you have been watchingyou have been watching
he/she/it has been watchingthey have been watching
Past Indefinite, Active Voice
I watchedwe watched
you watchedyou watched
he/she/it watchedthey watched
Past Continuous, Active Voice
I was watchingwe were watching
you were watchingyou were watching
he/she/it was watchingthey were watching
Past Perfect, Active Voice
I had watchedwe had watched
you had watchedyou had watched
he/she/it had watchedthey had watched
Past Perfect Continuous, Active Voice
I had been watchingwe had been watching
you had been watchingyou had been watching
he/she/it had been watchingthey had been watching
Future Indefinite, Active Voice
I shall/will watchwe shall/will watch
you will watchyou will watch
he/she/it will watchthey will watch
Future Continuous, Active Voice
I shall/will be watchingwe shall/will be watching
you will be watchingyou will be watching
he/she/it will be watchingthey will be watching
Future Perfect, Active Voice
I shall/will have watchedwe shall/will have watched
you will have watchedyou will have watched
he/she/it will have watchedthey will have watched
Future Perfect Continuous, Active Voice
I shall/will have been watchingwe shall/will have been watching
you will have been watchingyou will have been watching
he/she/it will have been watchingthey will have been watching
Future in the Past Indefinite, Active Voice
I should/would watchwe should/would watch
you would watchyou would watch
he/she/it would watchthey would watch
Future in the Past Continuous, Active Voice
I should/would be watchingwe should/would be watching
you would be watchingyou would be watching
he/she/it would be watchingthey would be watching
Future in the Past Perfect, Active Voice
I should/would have watchedwe should/would have watched
you would have watchedyou would have watched
he/she/it would have watchedthey would have watched
Future in the Past Perfect Continuous, Active Voice
I should/would have been watchingwe should/would have been watching
you would have been watchingyou would have been watching
he/she/it would have been watchingthey would have been watching
Present Indefinite, Passive Voice
I am watchedwe are watched
you are watchedyou are watched
he/she/it is watchedthey are watched
Present Continuous, Passive Voice
I am being watchedwe are being watched
you are being watchedyou are being watched
he/she/it is being watchedthey are being watched
Present Perfect, Passive Voice
I have been watchedwe have been watched
you have been watchedyou have been watched
he/she/it has been watchedthey have been watched
Past Indefinite, Passive Voice
I was watchedwe were watched
you were watchedyou were watched
he/she/it was watchedthey were watched
Past Continuous, Passive Voice
I was being watchedwe were being watched
you were being watchedyou were being watched
he/she/it was being watchedthey were being watched
Past Perfect, Passive Voice
I had been watchedwe had been watched
you had been watchedyou had been watched
he/she/it had been watchedthey had been watched
Future Indefinite, Passive Voice
I shall/will be watchedwe shall/will be watched
you will be watchedyou will be watched
he/she/it will be watchedthey will be watched
Future Perfect, Passive Voice
I shall/will have been watchedwe shall/will have been watched
you will have been watchedyou will have been watched
he/she/it will have been watchedthey will have been watched