watchful


watchful
watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert are comparable when they mean on the lookout especially for danger or for opportunities. Watchful is the general word
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the five watchful senses— Milton

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became almost remote, strangely watchful, looking back from time to time as though they were being followed— Malamud

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Vigilant implies keen, courageous, often wary, watchfulness
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be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour—7 Pet 5:8

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we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe— Justice Holmes

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Wide-awake stresses keen awareness, more often of opportunities and relevant developments than of dangers
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merchants who . . . were . . . wide-awake and full of energy— van Loon

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Alert stresses readiness or promptness in apprehending and meeting a danger, an opportunity, or an emergency
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not only watchful in the night, but alert in the drowsy afternoon— Pater

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our wits are much more alert when engaged in wrongdoing . . . than in a righteous occupation— Conrad

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Analogous words: *cautious, wary, chary, circumspect: *quick, ready, prompt
Contrasted words: *careless, heedless, thoughtless, inadvertent

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Watchful — Watch ful, a. Full of watch; vigilant; attentive; careful to observe closely; observant; cautious; with of before the thing to be regulated or guarded; as, to be watchful of one s behavior; and with against before the thing to be avoided; as, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • watchful — [wächfəl, wôchfəl] adj. 1. watching closely; vigilant; alert 2. characterized by vigilance 3. Archaic wakeful; unsleeping watchfully adv. watchfulness n. SYN. WATCHFUL is the general word implying a being observant and prepared, as to ward off… …   English World dictionary

  • watchful — index alert (vigilant), careful, circumspect, conscious (aware), diligent, discreet, guarded …   Law dictionary

  • watchful — (adj.) c.1500, waccheful, from WATCH (Cf. watch) (v.) + FUL (Cf. ful). Related: Watchfulness …   Etymology dictionary

  • watchful — [adj] on the lookout alert, all ears*, attentive, careful, cautious, chary, circumspect, glued*, guarded, heedful, hooked*, keen, not missing a trick*, observant, on guard, on one’s toes*, on the ball*, on the job*, on the qui vive, on the watch …   New thesaurus

  • watchful — ► ADJECTIVE 1) alert and vigilant. 2) archaic wakeful. DERIVATIVES watchfully adverb watchfulness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • watchful — [[t]wɒ̱tʃfʊl[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Someone who is watchful notices everything that is happening. The best thing is to be watchful and see the family doctor for any change in your normal health... He looked tall and powerful and, with his dark,… …   English dictionary

  • watchful — watch|ful [ˈwɔtʃfəl US ˈwa:tʃ , ˈwo:tʃ ] adj 1.) very careful to notice what is happening, and to make sure that everything is all right ▪ The entrances are guarded by watchful security staff. ▪ His eyes were watchful . ▪ Keep a watchful eye on… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Watchful — Infobox Album Name = Watchful Type = studio Longtype = Artist = Amoeba Released = 1997 Recorded = 1994 1995 Genre = Art rock Length = 48:35 Label = Lektronic Soundscapes Producer = Robert Rich Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|4|5… …   Wikipedia

  • watchful — adjective Date: 15th century 1. archaic a. not able or accustomed to sleep or rest ; wakeful b. causing sleeplessness c. spent in wakefulness ; sleepless 2. carefully observant or attentive ; being on the watch • watchfully …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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