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deathwatch

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deathwatch


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Deathwatch  \Death"watch`\  (?;  224),  n. 
  1.  (Zo["o]l.) 
  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[ae]}, 
  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. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  deathwatch 
  n  1:  minute  wingless  psocopterous  insects  injurious  to  books  and 
  papers  [syn:  {booklouse},  {book  louse},  {Liposcelis 
  divinatorius}] 
  2:  bores  through  wood  making  a  ticking  sound  popularly  thought 
  to  presage  death  [syn:  {deathwatch  beetle},  {Xestobium 
  rufovillosum}] 




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