\ 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


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


guarder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for guard


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 The Indianapolis Colts' only Pro Bowl guard until Quenton Nelson, earning the berth in 1987. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, 24 July 2021 Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul would soon lose in his first NBA Finals after experiencing playoff shortcomings for basically his entire 16-year career. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 21 July 2021 Ridnour, Knight, second-round pick Nate Wolters and Smith were now the point-guard options. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 July 2021 Almost immediately, the nearest guard, Aidan Donnellan, 17, stood in his chair, blew his whistle and leapt into the pool. Kris Maher, WSJ, 15 July 2021 Cruz flips both middle fingers at Beltran and then charges the guard, who stands up to defend himself. Terry Spencer, Star Tribune, 14 July 2021 Black Rifle was caught off-guard by the backlash, and when the F.B.I. identified Munchel, the company said nothing at all. New York Times, 14 July 2021 Hyland is considered a combo-guard who averaged 19.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists and shot 44.7% from the field, 37.1% from three last season. Broderick Turner Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2021 Team executives also issued a statement standing behind then-Bucks guard Sterling Brown after Milwaukee police took him to the ground and shocked him with a Taser in January 2018 over a parking violation. Steve Megargee, ajc, 9 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With no pads and no contact, which severely limits how defenders can guard and shadow, the passing numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt., 25 July 2021 Untangling exactly who’s at fault, and to what degree, is nigh impossible, especially since the companies carefully guard the data that would help researchers understand the problem. Washington Post, 21 July 2021 The Miami Heat trio of center Precious Achiuwa, forward KZ Okpala and guard Gabe Vincent made Nigeria’s Olympic roster, the team announced Monday. Khobi Price,, 19 July 2021 Instead, Booker drove to the paint and met a swarm of defenders before Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday pick-pocketed him from behind. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 18 July 2021 And just like the stone lions that guard the park, he could dependably be seen sitting on the same bench most afternoons. Alex Vadukul, New York Times, 13 July 2021 Guard Layshia Clarendon is a finalist for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian award and guard Crystal Dangerfield was nominated for the Breakthrough Athlete award. Kent Youngblood, Star Tribune, 17 June 2021 The question is whether Milwaukee can find someone who can guard the two-time All-Star 1-on-1 without much help for long stretches and slow Booker down. The Arizona Republic, 12 July 2021 Ayton and Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield represent the lone current NBA players born in the Bahamas, but Hield has never appeared in the playoffs. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 11 July 2021

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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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Time Traveler for guard

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near guard



guard's van

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Statistics for guard

Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for guard



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



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)


\ 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


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on guard

Nglish: Translation of guard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guard for Arabic Speakers


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