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

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 The season's new guard of masks offer a range of benefits, including clear, jelly-like sheet mask to hydrate and a bright teal clay formula to clear out pores (all the better to mask-selfie with). Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "The 13 Best Face Masks to Slather on This Fall," 6 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Jackson organized volunteers to guard until morning the home where Williams had died. Rebecca Nagle, Teen Vogue, "The Violence Against Women Act Doesn't Include the Majority of Alaska Native Women," 29 Nov. 2018 Most people, however, fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, wanting to guard their skin from the sun, but perhaps not really knowing what products and strategies offer the best protection. Laurel Naversen Geraghty, SELF, "7 Things You Shouldn’t Rely on for Sun Protection," 12 Aug. 2018 In minicamp, Smith has displayed an ability to guard multiple perimeter positions. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers' Zhaire Smith exceeding early expectations with jump shot, offensive skillset ahead of summer league," 5 July 2018 Marsh said the agency was investigating to determine whether the bear attack was predatory or a defensive action, such as to guard bear cubs or a food source like a dead moose. CBS News, "Bear that killed hiker likely mauled volunteer looking for him, Alaska police say," 21 June 2018 Valentine's Day is here, and perhaps the day dedicated to love is finally encouraging Kendall Jenner, who closely guards her relationship status, to publicly display her romance with boyfriend Ben Simmons. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner and Ben Simmons Show Rare PDA for Valentine's Day Date Night," 14 Feb. 2019 The government is hiring this herd, and dozens of others nationwide, as part of its race against the clock to guard rugged parts of the Iberian nation against a repeat of last year's catastrophic wildfires. Barry Hatton, The Christian Science Monitor, "Portugal races to protect its citizens against wildfires – with goats," 13 June 2018 Few documents on planet Earth are as closely guarded as the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Hypes Jobs Report Hour Before It’s Released," 1 June 2018 Workers walk in two by two, wearing khaki pants, neon jackets and backpacks, some wrapped in scarves to guard against the cool desert air. Garance Burke And Martha Mendoza, The Seattle Times, "US waived FBI checks on staff at growing teen migrant camp," 28 Nov. 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

14 Mar 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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