1

guard

noun \ ˈgärd \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of guard

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 b
2 a : a defensive state or attitude
  • asked him out when his guard was down
b : a defensive position (as in boxing)
3 a : 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
6 a : 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

Examples of guard in a Sentence

  1. There were dozens of police officers standing guard along the parade route.

  2. Tourists gather every day to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

  3. The guard must be in place before operating the meat slicer.

Recent Examples of guard from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of guard

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


2

guard

verb

Definition of guard

transitive verb
1 : to protect an edge of with an ornamental border
2 a : 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
4 a : 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

guarder

noun

Examples of guard in a Sentence

  1. Two policemen were assigned to guard the prisoner.

  2. A tank guarded the bridge from enemy attack.

  3. A police officer was stationed outside to guard the door.

  4. They jealously guard their secrets.

  5. Her whereabouts are a tightly guarded secret.

Recent Examples of guard from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of guard

see 1guard

Synonym Discussion of 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

GUARD Defined for English Language Learners

guard

noun

Definition of guard for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of guard for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

guard

noun \ ˈgärd \

Definition of guard for Students

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

2

guard

verb

Definition of guard for Students

guarded; guarding
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.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up guard? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!