1A vigil kept beside a dead or dying individual.
- When his friend Sir Joseph Hooker's young son fell ill, Darwin drew on his own agonizing deathwatch of Annie to comfort him.
- During this period newspapers carried front-page stories of his losing battle with throat cancer, and readers maintained a long-distance deathwatch.
- Or maybe I'm just a sucker for another Hollywood tradition, a deathwatch graced by an angelic kid's big smile.
2 (also deathwatch beetle) A small beetle with larvae that bore into dead wood and structural timbers, causing considerable damage. The adult makes a sound like a watch ticking that was formerly believed to portend death.
- Xestobium rufovillosum, family Anobiidae.
- Male death-watch beetles bang their heads against the sides of their wooden tunnels to attract females.
- Indeed, the behaviour of death-watch beetle actually makes it more susceptible to surface treatments than common furniture beetle.
- Anobiids are similar to lyctids in color and size, but are cylindrical; the common furniture and death-watch beetles belong in this group.
For editors and proofreaders
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.