• WordNet 3.6
    • n watchword a secret word or phrase known only to a restricted group "he forgot the password"
    • n watchword a slogan used to rally support for a cause "a cry to arms","our watchword will be `democracy'"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Watchword A sentiment or motto; esp., one used as a rallying cry or a signal for action. "Nor deal in watchwords overmuch."
    • Watchword 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 password.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n watchword A word or short phrase to be communicated on challenge to the watch or sentinels in a camp; a password or signal by which friends can be known from enemies.
    • n watchword Hence Any preconcerted indication or a direction eagerly watched for, as a signal for action.
    • n watchword A word used as a motto, as expressive of a principle or rule of action; a maxim, byword, or rallying-cry.
    • n watchword The call of a watchman or sentry as he goes his rounds.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Watchword the password to be given to a watch or sentry: any signal: a maxim, rallying-cry
    • ***


  • Proverb
    “Now is the watchword of the wise.”
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
    “A great man left a watchword that we can well repeat: There is no indispensable man.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. wæccewacan, wake.


In literature:

Economy of time, economy of means, economy of action, must be our constant watchwords.
"Sparkling Gems of Race Knowledge Worth Reading" by Various
Its watchwords were 'Peace, Retrenchment, and Reform.
"Despair's Last Journey" by David Christie Murray
And now the trumpets blare; the watchword for war passes along.
"The Aeneid of Virgil" by Virgil
Greater efficiency is the watchword of the hour.
"The Booklover and His Books" by Harry Lyman Koopman
Here, I'll give you a watchword.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1864" by Various
Reformation is the watchword of history: anarchy and destruction the fate of those nations which heed it not.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 3, September 1864" by Various
That text was the watchword of a great man of God, the Rev.
"To My Younger Brethren" by Handley C. G. Moule
We could not help laughing at their watchwords.
"The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52" by Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe
The new religious orders carried everywhere the watchword of implicit obedience.
"History of the English People" by John Richard Green
Liberty and independence become familiar watchwords.
"The Choctaw Freedmen" by Robert Elliott Flickinger

In poetry:

Higher, higher, ever higher,--
Let thy watchword be "Aspire!"
Noble Christian youth;
Whatsoe'er be God's behest,
Try to do that duty best
In strength of Truth.
"Aspire" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
And, hark! how the bells ring forth their mirth
In the cool, still air above!
Oh, well may they peal to the ends of the earth,
For the watchword whisper'd was "Love."
"The New Year" by Alexander Anderson
Then bending in his meekness unto me,
He answer'd, "I am sent by God to give
Two watchwords unto those who yet may see,
No bound but that of earth that they may live."
"The Two Watchwords" by Alexander Anderson
"I sing to cheer them that they may not quail,
Nor shrink amid life's busy toil and pain;
But if through all the weary fight they fail
To use the second watchword, all is vain."
"The Two Watchwords" by Alexander Anderson
And bowing down, methought I heard his wing
Rustle, to seek the balmy fields above,
When, like the gushing of a second spring,
Came downward from his lips the watchword—"Love."
"The Two Watchwords" by Alexander Anderson
"And with the first sweet watchword, which is 'Pray,'
They move," he said, "in holy fear and trust,
Knowing that He will lead them to his day,
Which is beyond the realm of death and dust.
"The Two Watchwords" by Alexander Anderson

In news:

Innovation has always been the watchword for Corum 's design.
Continued economic expansion is the watchword in the lodging sector, as indicated by the LESI.
As the products pictured on the front page of this section demonstrate, the watchword is texture -- pure if often not so simple.
New watchword is 'precision M&A'.
At Gov 2.0 Summit, Democratizing Data Is the Watchword .
Partisanship is Legislature's watchword .
This week’s watchword : Renovate Right.
Relaxing Is the Point, Safety Is the Watchword .
For Immigrants, the Watchword Suddenly Is Enforcement.
In rides, faster, louder and more daring than ever appear to be the watchwords.
Raciness and elegance are the new watchwords for Australia's quality Chardonnay producers.
Change may have been the operative watchword of the 2008 national elections, but that political imperative seldom makes its way into the training lifestyle of the majority of runners.
It's the watchword of the right-wing nut jobs who have turned the.
Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving' are watchwords for the day.
That was the watchword as the nation's top public-sector technologists gathered in Baltimore this week for the midyear conference of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.