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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Watchword \Watch"word`\, n. 1. A word given to sentinels, and to such as have occasion to visit the guards, used as a signal by which a friend is known from an enemy, or a person who has a right to pass the watch from one who has not; a countersign; a password. [1913 Webster] 2. A sentiment or motto; esp., one used as a rallying cry or a signal for action. [1913 Webster] Nor deal in watchwords overmuch. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]