Death"watch` (?; 224), n.

1. Zool. (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.


A small wingless insect, of the family Psocidae, 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.


The guard set over a criminal before his execution.


© Webster 1913.