guard

noun
\ ˈgärd How to pronounce guard (audio) \

Definition of guard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one assigned to protect or oversee another: such as
a : a person or a body of persons on sentinel duty Guards were posted around the camp.
b guards plural : troops attached to the person of the sovereign
c British : conductor sense b
2a : a defensive state or attitude asked him out when his guard was down
b : a defensive position (as in boxing)
3a : the act or duty of protecting or defending
b : the state of being protected : protection
4 : a protective or safety device specifically : a device for protecting a machine part or the operator of a machine
5 archaic : precaution
6a : a position or player next to the center in a football line
b : a player stationed in the backcourt in basketball
off guard
: in an unprepared or unsuspecting state Her angry response caught me off guard.
on guard
: defensively watchful : alert is on guard against terrorists

guard

verb
guarded; guarding; guards

Definition of guard (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to protect an edge of with an ornamental border
2a : to protect from danger especially by watchful attention : make secure police guarding our cities
b : to stand at the entrance of as if on guard or as a barrier
c : to tend to carefully : preserve, protect guarded their privacy
3 archaic : escort
4a : to watch over so as to prevent escape, disclosure, or indiscretion guarded the prisoners.
b : to attempt to prevent (an opponent) from playing effectively or scoring

intransitive verb

: to watch by way of caution or defense : stand guard guard against mistakes

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Other Words from guard

Verb

guarder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for guard

Verb

defend, protect, shield, guard, safeguard mean to keep secure from danger or against attack. defend denotes warding off actual or threatened attack. defend the country protect implies the use of something (such as a covering) as a bar to the admission or impact of what may attack or injure. a hard hat to protect your head shield suggests protective intervention in imminent danger or actual attack. shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand guard implies protecting with vigilance and force against expected danger. White House entrances are well guarded safeguard implies taking precautionary protective measures against merely possible danger. our civil liberties must be safeguarded

Examples of guard in a Sentence

Noun

There were dozens of police officers standing guard along the parade route. Tourists gather every day to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. The guard must be in place before operating the meat slicer.

Verb

Two policemen were assigned to guard the prisoner. A tank guarded the bridge from enemy attack. A police officer was stationed outside to guard the door. They jealously guard their secrets. Her whereabouts are a tightly guarded secret.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Most Read Nation & World Stories The rocket attack, which caught Israel off guard, may have been an attempt by Hamas to divert attention from its growing domestic woes. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "Israel, Gaza militants in 2nd day of cross-border fighting," 25 Mar. 2019 Mexican police in 2007 guard a shipment of cocaine allegedly tied to Mr. Guzmán. Nicole Hong, WSJ, "What El Chapo’s Trial Revealed: The Inner Workings of a $14 Billion Drug Empire," 12 Feb. 2019 The whole family is marched into Impatiev House by revolutionary guards, perched on chairs in the center of the room, and shot dead in an almost comically gruesome scene. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "What's the Story With The Romanoffs Controversial Opening Credits?," 27 Oct. 2018 In the kitchen of the house, the guard, Morteja, and an older woman greeted us. Nadia Murad, Glamour, "Nadia Murad Escaped Sexual Slavery at the Hands of ISIS. This Is Her Story.," 5 Oct. 2018 Now, one of those guards, Rosemary Esterholm, is getting her job back. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "A Prison Guard Is Being Rehired After a Scandal Involving a Teen's Suicide Attempt," 18 Sep. 2018 Such bold trades were widely popular ahead of February 2018, when a sudden resurgence in market turbulence caught many investors off guard. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Calm Blankets Markets From Stocks to Bonds, Even as Risks Remain," 22 Feb. 2019 But are these really replacements for human guards? Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Is this robot really going to replace a security guard?," 8 Oct. 2018 Remember how Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade teamed up with luggage company Away on a line of slicker-than matte black suitcases this summer? Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Dwyane Wade on His New Away Collection, His Summer Travels, and Why It's So Damn Hard to Pack His Shoes," 25 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The admiralty had been at the greatest pains to guard the Lusitania and other big liners, in the belief that they would be needed as transports. sandiegouniontribune.com, "May 7, 1915: Lusitania Torpedoed," 7 May 2018 That means any bank looking to facilitate those transactions will have to figure out how to guard such assets, a step that could require a nod from regulators. Fortune, "Goldman Sachs Is Said to Add Cryptocurrency Trading Desk—Sort of," 3 May 2018 Our post game is going to be really, really good, and hard for a lot of people to guard. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Connecticut Sun Bring Loaded Frontcourt, And High Expecations, Into 2018 Season," 2 May 2018 The facility is closely guarded and is built to withstand a category 5 hurricane. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "America's New Energy Coast," 19 Mar. 2019 Brienne of Tarth, guarding Lady Stark, and Ser Jorah Mormont, accompanying his Khaleesi, also make appearances. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sansa and Daenerys Meet for the First Time in New Game of Thrones Season 8 Footage," 7 Jan. 2019 The designer reportedly closely guarded her private life from the press, and this movie attempts to reveal parts that not many know. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "The 10 Best Fashion Movies That Aren't The Devil Wears Prada," 24 Dec. 2018 Some are cooperative yet guarded, while others lash out or throw tantrums. Christy Tennant Krispin, Vox, "What Mark Wahlberg’s new movie Instant Family gets right and wrong about foster care," 29 Nov. 2018 These include the establishment of new NATO commands in the United States (to guard Atlantic shipping lanes) and in Germany, along with fresh efforts to shore up the Baltic states, Poland and Romania against any Russian misbehaviour. The Economist, "The American president lambasts his allies," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guard.' 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 guard

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1500, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for guard

Noun and Verb

Middle English garde, from Anglo-French garde, guarde, warde, from garder, guarder, warder, to guard, defend, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wartēn to watch, take care — more at ward

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Statistics for guard

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for guard

The first known use of guard was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for guard

guard

noun

English Language Learners Definition of guard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a state in which someone is carefully looking for possible danger, threats, problems, etc.
: a person whose job or duty is to watch and protect someone or something
: a group of people (such as soldiers) who protect a person or place

guard

verb

English Language Learners Definition of guard (Entry 2 of 2)

: to watch (someone) in order to prevent escape
: to protect (someone or something) from danger or attack
: to be careful about not telling or talking about (something, such as a secret)

guard

noun
\ ˈgärd How to pronounce guard (audio) \

Kids Definition of guard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person or a body of persons that guards against injury or danger the palace guard
2 : the act or duty of keeping watch An officer stood guard outside.
3 : a device giving protection a mouth guard

guard

verb
guarded; guarding

Kids Definition of guard (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to protect from danger : defend
2 : to watch over so as to prevent escape guard a prisoner
3 : to keep careful watch for in order to prevent I try to guard against mistakes.

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More from Merriam-Webster on guard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guard

Spanish Central: Translation of guard

Nglish: Translation of guard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guard for Arabic Speakers

Comments on guard

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