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Death"watch` (?; 224), n.
1. (Zoöl.) (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
Psocidæ, which makes a similar but fainter sound; --
called also deathtick.
She is always seeing apparitions and hearing
I did not hear the dog howl, mother, or the
deathwatch beat. Tennyson.
2. The guard set over a criminal before his
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
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