Death"watch`(?; 224), n. 1. (Zol.) (a) A small beetle (Anobium tessellatum and other allied species). By forcibly striking its head against woodwork it makes a ticking sound, which is a call of the sexes to each other, but has been imagined by superstitious people to presage death. (b) A small wingless insect, of the family Psocid, which makes a similar but fainter sound; -- called also deathtick.
She is always seeing apparitions and hearing deathwatches.Addison.
I did not hear the dog howl, mother, or the deathwatch beat.Tennyson.
2. The guard set over a criminal before his execution.
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