Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Watching too long or too late.
  • To watch to excess.
  • To exhaust or fatigue by long want of rest.
  • To watch over; overlook.
  • To watch too long or too late.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To watch too much.
  • transitive verb To weary or exhaust by watching.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To watch over.
  • noun military The supervision of one unit or vehicle by another while the supervised unit is firing or moving.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

over- +‎ watch

Examples

  • By next fall the Marines plan to be in what they call an "overwatch" role.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • By next fall the Marines plan to be in what they call an "overwatch" role.

    SFGate: Don Asmussen: Bad Reporter

  • By next fall the Marines plan to be in what they call an "overwatch" role.

    SFGate: Don Asmussen: Bad Reporter

  • = SPEED!., transit open terrain, especially at night, day travel and leap frogging or overwatch is to slow and depends on the crew mack up. unless contact is expected and unavoidable, then leap/overwatch is noty a big issue.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Gentlemen’s Club.

  • A little more than a decade on, his most common mission is what is called an "overwatch," scanning the ground via infrared sensors and radioing what he sees to troops below.

    NYT > Home Page

  • A little more than a decade on, his most common mission is what is called an "overwatch," scanning the ground via infrared sensors and radioing what he sees to troops below.

    NYT > Home Page

  • In recent months, senior U.S. officials, including Gen. David Petraeus, a McCain favorite who is the top commander in Iraq, have also begun talking about gradually moving U.S. forces out of direct combat and into a so-called overwatch role, where they would support the Iraqi security forces but no longer undertake regular operations designed to protect Iraqi civilians.

    McCain Names Drawdown Date

  • MILIBAND: Well, the so-called overwatch capacity that we have maintained which is, first of all, about supply routes, secondly about training and mentoring and support of the Iraqi forces, is also third about reintervention capacity.

    CNN Transcript Oct 28, 2007

  • They're staying in their base in Basra in a so-called overwatch position, ready to move back in if things start to go wrong.

    CNN Transcript Dec 17, 2007

  • They could have been flying what's called overwatch, protecting their military assets, maybe troops on the ground or other helicopters in the area.

    CNN Transcript Apr 10, 2002

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A military term, and the topic of William Safire's October 14, 2007 On Language column.

    October 15, 2007