ward

noun
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Definition of ward

 (Entry 1 of 10)

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 10)

transitive verb

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

Definition of -ward (Entry 3 of 10)

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 10)

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

Ward

biographical name (1)
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce Ward (audio) \

Definition of Ward (Entry 5 of 10)

(Aaron) Montgomery 1843–1913 American merchant

Ward

biographical name (2)

Definition of Ward (Entry 6 of 10)

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 7 of 10)

Artemus — see Charles Farrar browne

Ward

biographical name (4)

Definition of Ward (Entry 8 of 10)

Barbara 1914–1981 Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth English economist

Ward

biographical name (5)

Definition of Ward (Entry 9 of 10)

Sir Joseph George 1856–1930 New Zealand statesman

Ward

biographical name (6)

Definition of Ward (Entry 10 of 10)

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Zhongnan Hospital opened a 24-hour fever clinic and an isolation ward, both of which were quickly overrun. New York Times, "25 Days That Changed the World: How Covid-19 Slipped China’s Grasp," 1 Jan. 2021 The smell of disinfectant is notably absent here -- there isn't any left —and at the end of the ward, in a unit seemingly no longer in use, two dead rats lie on the floor. Vasco Cotovio, Isa Soares, William Bonnett, CNN, "Faced with crumbling hospitals, many Covid-19 patients in Venezuela prefer their chances at home," 7 Dec. 2020 Sahin and Türeci, both children of Turkish immigrants to Germany, met while working on an oncology ward in the southwestern city of Homburg. Washington Post, "Their coronavirus vaccine candidate has made them billionaires. This modest German-Turkish couple doesn’t own a car.," 12 Nov. 2020 Now the aura is a little more like an outpatient ward. Gail Collins New York Times, Star Tribune, "Debate number two and a half: Introducing the Trump-muter," 22 Oct. 2020 He was eventually moved to a different ward, where the recovery wasn’t any easier. oregonlive, "COVID-19 survivor, once in weeklong coma, lifted by tribal healing songs: ‘I pray that I wake up tomorrow’," 22 Dec. 2020 At the end of the season, Jo willingly enters a psychiatric ward for mental health treatment. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "There’s A Deeper Meaning To Jo’s Big Grey’s Anatomy Decision," 14 Dec. 2020 Pearce, who played alongside Van Hollebeke in the middle of the U.S. defense, said there were things at which her teammate excelled, like communication and quick thinking, that translate from the playing field to the ICU ward. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "How Rachel Buehler Van Hollebeke went from the USWNT to the front lines of COVID-19," 30 Nov. 2020 The Lakewood Police Department’s neighborhood policing program includes one officer assigned to each ward. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood Councilman concerned about neighborhood policing program," 25 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Will extra innings begin with a runner on second base again, a strategy to ward off extra-long games? Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "MLB Insider: Sorry Twins fans, baseball is a long way from being out of the woods," 12 Dec. 2020 The group argues that the protective barrier around Internet companies to ward off prosecution has enabled entrepreneurs to innovate, and for platforms to grow. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "How Joe Biden Could Help Internet Companies Moderate Harmful Content," 4 Dec. 2020 In video demonstrations, the company shows how gusts of air can keep smoke away from food sitting on a roller grill, and AirShield is currently undergoing testing to see if the process can ward off covid-19-causing droplets. Washington Post, "Can jets of air keep covid-19 off buffet food? One company banks on it.," 1 Dec. 2020 The purpose was to gather information about the development, manufacturing and distribution of shots to ward off the novel coronavirus and therapies to treat the sick. Tyler Pager, Bloomberg.com, "Biden Team to Meet with Pharma Companies Soon on Virus Fight," 15 Nov. 2020 But the success of staging a season will also hinge on their opponents’ ability to ward off the virus. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Having kept virus away, UCLA hopes ‘Bruin Bubble’ won’t burst," 26 Oct. 2020 No restaurants, no socializing outside the team, anything to ward off the virus. oregonlive, "Brandon Kipper says despite Oregon State’s big offensive line losses, Beavers won’t ‘skip a beat’ this season," 1 Oct. 2020 Flagellant religious orders whipped themselves in the hope that the pain would ward off the Last Judgment. The Economist, "How we live now Visors and violence: we are returning to the Middle Ages," 14 Sep. 2020 Efforts to help ward off the coronavirus come amid a staggering death toll that surpassed 300,000 on Monday. Jim Salter And Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, chicagotribune.com, "Some states say their Pfizer vaccine allotments were cut for next week: ‘This is disruptive and frustrating’," 17 Dec. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for ward

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ward

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for ward

ward

noun
How to pronounce Ward (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ward

: a section in a hospital for patients needing a particular kind of care
US : a section in a prison
: one of the sections into which a city or town is divided for the purposes of an election

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.
\ 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

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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

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Comments on ward

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