ward

noun
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Definition of ward

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : the action or process of guarding
b : a body of guards
c(1) : a division in a hospital a maternity ward
(2) : a large room in a hospital where a number of patients often requiring similar treatment are accommodated Wallace Thurman died in 1934 in the tuberculosis ward of the New York City charity hospital on Welfare Island.— Zeese Papanikolas
2 : the state of being under guard especially : custody
3a : the inner court of a castle or fortress
b : a division (such as a cell or block) of a prison
4a : a division of a city for representative, electoral, or administrative purposes
b : a division of some English and Scottish counties corresponding to a hundred
c : the Mormon local congregation having auxiliary organizations (such as Sunday schools and relief societies) and one or more quorums of each office of the Aaronic priesthood
5 : a projecting ridge of metal in a lock casing or keyhole permitting only the insertion of a key with a corresponding notch also : a corresponding notch in a bit of a key
6 : a person or thing under guard, protection, or surveillance: such as
a : a minor subject to wardship
b : a person who by reason of incapacity (such as minority or mental illness) is under the protection of a court either directly or through a guardian appointed by the court

called also ward of court

c : a person or body of persons under the protection or tutelage of a government
7 : a means of defense : protection

ward

verb
warded; warding; wards

Definition of ward (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to keep watch over : guard
2 : to turn aside (something threatening) : deflect usually used with off ward off a blowtrying to ward off a cold
variants: or less commonly -wards

Definition of -ward (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : that moves, tends, faces, or is directed toward riverward
2 : that occurs or is situated in the direction of leftward

-ward

adverb suffix
variants: or -wards

Definition of -ward (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : in a (specified) spatial or temporal direction upward afterward
2 : toward a (specified) point, position, or area earthward

Examples of ward in a Sentence

Noun She works in the cancer ward. the council representative from Ward 22 They were wards of the state. Verb vowed that he would take whatever measures were necessary to ward the nation's people Adjective suffix a rearward movement of troops
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This might be when one doctor goes off-shift, for example, or when the patient moves to a new team – from the emergency department to a ward, say. David Prosser, Forbes, 28 June 2022 The son is taken to the emergency ward and is on the surgical table. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, 15 June 2022 She was assigned to the Vietnamese ward, caring for Vietnamese who were injured in the war, Felton said. cleveland, 30 May 2022 Nurses and staffers rushed all the babies to the neighbouring ward. Tabassum Barnagarwala, Quartz, 13 Apr. 2022 The door to the Covid isolation ward is bolted shut and overgrown with weeds. Stephanie Nolen, New York Times, 23 Mar. 2022 Adila’s 2½-year-old girl, Amina, admitted to the ward in Maidan Shahr, is too weak to stand. Saeed Shah, WSJ, 28 Jan. 2022 Police on Saturday identified the man who is accused of stabbing a doctor and two nurses inside a Southern California hospital emergency ward and remained inside a room for hours before police arrested him. Arkansas Online, 5 June 2022 Four newborns were killed last year in a fire at a maternity ward in the northern town of Linguère. Danielle Paquette, Washington Post, 26 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in an April speech at American University that more government regulation is needed to police the proliferation of cryptocurrency and ward off fraudulent or illicit transactions. CBS News, 7 June 2022 Shea and aloe vera smooth and soften your hair, ward off dandruff, and replenish moisture. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 June 2022 Califf also said his agency doesn’t have the resources to do the kind of complex analysis that would be needed to monitor the nation’s supply chain and ward off future shortages. Sasha Pezenik, ABC News, 25 May 2022 The first thing a forest seems to do is try to persist, or ward off change. Joan Meiners, The Arizona Republic, 18 May 2022 This medication further disrupts the immune system and blunts its ability to ward off virus like COVID-19. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, 25 Jan. 2022 In the race among pharmaceutical giants to create the first pill to ward off the COVID-19 virus, a team of researchers at Pfizer in Groton played a critical role. Rick Green, courant.com, 23 Dec. 2021 Students today are growing up with shooting drills to protect themselves against the unlikely but possible event of shootings, and masks to ward off the deadly virus. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 18 Dec. 2021 In a twist, however, those sickened by delta previously may have some extra armor to ward off the new mutants. Laura Ungar, Anchorage Daily News, 27 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ward.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ward

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ward

Noun

Middle English, from Old English weard & Anglo-French warde, garde, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German warta act of watching, Old English warian to beware of, guard, wær careful — more at guard, wary

Verb

Middle English, from Old English weardian & Anglo-French warder, garder, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wartēn to watch, Old Norse vartha to guard, Old English weard ward

Adjective suffix

-ward from Middle English, from Old English -weard; akin to Old High German -wart, -wert -ward, Latin vertere to turn; -wards from -wards, adverb suffix — more at worth

Adverb suffix

-ward from Middle English, from Old English -weard, from -weard, adjective suffix; -wards from Middle English, from Old English -weardes, genitive singular neuter of -weard, adjective suffix

Learn More About ward

Time Traveler for ward

Time Traveler

The first known use of ward was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near ward

-ward

ward

Ward

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Statistics for ward

Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for ward

ward

noun
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Kids Definition of ward

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a large room in a hospital where a number of patients often needing similar treatment are cared for
2 : one of the parts into which a town or city is divided for management
3 : a person under the protection of a guardian

ward

verb
warded; warding

Kids Definition of ward (Entry 2 of 4)

: to avoid being hit or affected by Wear a sweater to ward off the cold.

-ward

adjective suffix
\ wərd \
variants: also -wards \ wərdz \

Kids Definition of -ward

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : that moves, faces, or is pointed toward windward
2 : that is found in the direction of

-ward

adverb suffix
variants: or -wards

Kids Definition of -ward (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : in a specified direction upward
2 : toward a specified place

ward

noun
\ ˈwȯ(ə)rd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Medical Definition of ward

: a division in a hospital a maternity ward especially : a large room in a hospital where a number of patients often requiring similar treatment are accommodated a tuberculosis ward

ward

noun
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Legal Definition of ward

1 : a division of a city for representative, electoral, or administrative purposes
2a : a person who by reason of incapacity (as minority or incompetency) is under the control of a guardian
b : a person who by reason of incapacity is under the protection of a court either directly or through a guardian appointed by the court

called also ward of the court

— compare interdict

Other Words from ward

wardship noun

Ward biographical name (1)

\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce Ward (audio) \

Definition of Ward

 (Entry 1 of 6)

(Aaron) Montgomery 1843–1913 American merchant

Ward

biographical name (2)

Definition of Ward (Entry 2 of 6)

Ar*te*mas \ ˈär-​tə-​məs How to pronounce Ward (audio) \ 1727–1800 American general in Revolution

Ward

biographical name (3)

Definition of Ward (Entry 3 of 6)

Artemus — see Charles Farrar browne

Ward

biographical name (4)

Definition of Ward (Entry 4 of 6)

Barbara 1914–1981 Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth English economist

Ward

biographical name (5)

Definition of Ward (Entry 5 of 6)

Sir Joseph George 1856–1930 New Zealand statesman

Ward

biographical name (6)

Definition of Ward (Entry 6 of 6)

Mary Augusta 1851–1920 Mrs. Humphry Ward née Arnold English novelist

More from Merriam-Webster on ward

Nglish: Translation of ward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ward for Arabic Speakers

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