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 In Parwan, Mujahid said the bomber targeted presidential guards who were protecting Ghani and the rally, along with other members of the security forces. Washington Post, "Authorities: Separate attacks in Afghanistan kill 48," 18 Sep. 2019 Many predict Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu will be selected as the top overall pick in the 2020 draft following her senior season with the Ducks. Jenna West, SI.com, "New York Liberty Win Top Pick in 2020 WNBA Draft Lottery," 17 Sep. 2019 In Parwan, Mujahid said the bomber targeted presidential guards who were protecting Ghani and the rally, along with other members of the security forces. Rahim Faiez, Anchorage Daily News, "Suicide bombers kill scores in separate attacks in Afghanistan," 17 Sep. 2019 Many opted to take a firearms course to learn how to protect themselves against polar bears, even though a perimeter of armed guards will patrol the observatory for those bears every day. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Marooned: Researchers Will Freeze Their Ship into Arctic Ocean Ice for a Year," 17 Sep. 2019 Some cellblock guards live in the Tierra Kay townhouses near the trooper clinic, the quickest commute to the zone. New York Times, "The Cost of Running Guantánamo Bay: $13 Million Per Prisoner," 16 Sep. 2019 Andre Smith went down with a groin injury in the first half and was replaced by John Jerry, and rookie guard Michael Jordan was carted off the field with a left knee injury. Adam Baum, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Bengals offensive line issues amplified with injuries in lopsided loss to 49ers," 16 Sep. 2019 Right guard Ron Leary was called for two penalties, running his two-game total to four enforced flags. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Talking Points: Crazy finish allows Chicago to win," 15 Sep. 2019 True freshman Dohnovan West, who had been at center, moved to right guard. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "ASU football: What we learned from Sun Devils' upset at Michigan State," 15 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Federal prosecutors have closely guarded their reasons for investigating Treem and Ravenell. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Appeals court orders feds to halt review, hand over emails of Baltimore lawyers under investigation," 13 Sep. 2019 The design of seamount mining equipment is closely guarded by competing countries and companies. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Mountains hidden in the deep sea are biological hot spots. Will mining ruin them?," 12 Sep. 2019 But even that entrance is guarded by rolls of barbed wire. Paul Hoynes, cleveland.com, "Pressure: Can Cleveland Indians win enough of their last 18 games to make playoffs?," 9 Sep. 2019 Saudi Arabia and Emirati forces have guarded the palace since the separatists pushed the presidential guards out of the city. Washington Post, "Yemeni government forces push into key port city of Aden," 31 Aug. 2019 Apple is notoriously guarded with its products, shielding them from even well-meaning hackers looking to probe iOS vulnerabilities. Taylor Telford, Anchorage Daily News, "Google researchers uncover iPhone hack tied to malicious websites," 30 Aug. 2019 Some farms in Colombia are only lightly guarded and are separated from interstate roads by small fences. Candice Choi, chicagotribune.com, "Banana emergency: A fungus that may exterminate the fruit as we know it has spread to Latin America," 26 Aug. 2019 When Tulauskas extended his sleepover invite, Hocevar was guarded. Rowan Jacobsen, Outside Online, "An Ocean Plastics Field Trip for Corporate Executives," 8 Aug. 2019 Morrison was never guarded for the sake of causing senseless discomfort. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Toni Morrison’s Kaleidoscopic Vision of Literature," 6 Aug. 2019

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

24 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce guard (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guard

Spanish Central: Translation of guard

Nglish: Translation of guard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guard for Arabic Speakers

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