ward

noun
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Definition of ward

 (Entry 1 of 10)

1a : the action or process of guarding
b : a body of guards
2 : the state of being under guard especially : custody
3a : the inner court of a castle or fortress
b : a division (such as a cell or block) of a prison
c : a division in a hospital especially : a large room in a hospital where a number of patients often requiring similar treatment are accommodated
4a : a division of a city for representative, electoral, or administrative purposes
b : a division of some English and Scottish counties corresponding to a hundred
c : the Mormon local congregation having auxiliary organizations (such as Sunday schools and relief societies) and one or more quorums of each office of the Aaronic priesthood
5 : a projecting ridge of metal in a lock casing or keyhole permitting only the insertion of a key with a corresponding notch also : a corresponding notch in a bit of a key
6 : a person or thing under guard, protection, or surveillance: such as
a : a minor subject to wardship
b : a person who by reason of incapacity (such as minority or mental illness) is under the protection of a court either directly or through a guardian appointed by the court

called also ward of court

c : a person or body of persons under the protection or tutelage of a government
7 : a means of defense : protection

ward

verb
warded; warding; wards

Definition of ward (Entry 2 of 10)

transitive verb

1 : to keep watch over : guard
2 : to turn aside (something threatening) : deflect usually used with offward off a blowtrying to ward off a cold
variants: or less commonly -wards

Definition of -ward (Entry 3 of 10)

1 : that moves, tends, faces, or is directed toward riverward
2 : that occurs or is situated in the direction of leftward
variants: or -wards

Definition of -ward (Entry 4 of 10)

1 : in a (specified) spatial or temporal direction upward afterward
2 : toward a (specified) point, position, or area earthward

Ward

biographical name (1)
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce Ward (audio) \

Definition of Ward (Entry 5 of 10)

(Aaron) Montgomery 1843–1913 American merchant

Ward

biographical name (2)

Definition of Ward (Entry 6 of 10)

Ar*te*mas \ ˈär-​tə-​məs How to pronounce Ward (audio) \ 1727–1800 American general in Revolution

Ward

biographical name (3)

Definition of Ward (Entry 7 of 10)

Artemus — see Charles Farrar browne

Ward

biographical name (4)

Definition of Ward (Entry 8 of 10)

Barbara 1914–1981 Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth English economist

Ward

biographical name (5)

Definition of Ward (Entry 9 of 10)

Sir Joseph George 1856–1930 New Zealand statesman

Ward

biographical name (6)

Definition of Ward (Entry 10 of 10)

Mary Augusta 1851–1920 Mrs. Humphry Ward née Arnold English novelist

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Examples of ward in a Sentence

Noun She works in the cancer ward. the council representative from Ward 22 They were wards of the state. Verb vowed that he would take whatever measures were necessary to ward the nation's people Adjective suffix a rearward movement of troops
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Like most hospitals, IU did not allow IndyStar photographers and reporters into the maternity wards, due to circulating viruses like influenza and RSV. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel twins born in separate years among Indianapolis-area New Year's babies," 1 Jan. 2020 San Francisco VA, one night of observation in the locked ward, leading to a month’s stint at the Palo Alto VA’s Menlo Park Psychiatric Campus. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, "My Own Private Decade From Hell," 30 Dec. 2019 Stroke patients are now scattered across the wards, surrounded by patients with other ailments. Oliver Staley, Quartz Africa, "Zambia has 17 million people, a stroke epidemic, and no neurologists," 30 Dec. 2019 Earlier this year, the Duchess of Cambridge secretly spent time in a maternity unit: observing clinics, visiting post-natal wards, and even joining community midwives making house calls. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Pens an Open Letter to Midwives, After Witnessing Their Hard Work Firsthand," 27 Dec. 2019 But the accuracy of the test in newborns is not as well established, and the testing is less likely to be available at maternity wards, and even less likely if delivery occurs at home. Gbolahan Ajibola, The Conversation, "Treating HIV in the tiniest babies could have huge positive implications for their future," 27 Nov. 2019 Yet no one tipped off authorities that something was amiss for two and a half months, even as the death toll continued to climb, on the same ward, in the same way. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "Oversights, lapses at VA hospital risked veterans’ lives, limit evidence in homicide probe," 30 Aug. 2019 Caroline rushed him to the emergency room, where he was committed to the pysch ward. Tim Requarth, Longreads, "The Final Five Percent," 22 Oct. 2019 In a video captured during the visit to the child ward, Kate speaks with five-year-old Muhammad Samir's family while Prince William collaborates with the child on a drawing in a coloring book. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Play with Child Cancer Patients," 17 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To ward it off, doctors have little to offer beyond exercising more, eating less and losing weight. Melissa Healy, chicagotribune.com, "Eating only during a 10-hour window improved health for those with common syndrome," 11 Dec. 2019 Still, police credit the tipster with warding off a potential tragedy. CBS News, "Man defends YouTube videos showing him mimic a mass shooter in hotel room as an "art project"," 9 Dec. 2019 By far the most effective measure for warding off Fancy Bear attacks is to protect accounts with multi-factor authentication, ideally with physical security keys. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Russia’s Fancy Bear hackers conduct “significant cyberattacks” on anti-doping agencies," 29 Oct. 2019 It’s in Las Vegas that Theo meets the boy who becomes his closest friend, the mysterious Boris (Finn Wolfhard when young, Aneurin Barnard when older), an eccentric who uses a black umbrella to ward off the sun. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘The Goldfinch’ sings its own tune in its own sweet time," 12 Sep. 2019 It’s in Las Vegas that Theo meets the boy who becomes his closest friend, the mysterious Boris (Finn Wolfhard when young, Aneurin Barnard when older), an eccentric who uses a black umbrella to ward off the sun. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘The Goldfinch’ sings its own tune in its own sweet time," 12 Sep. 2019 The story is hilariously similar to another incident in which rock music was used to ward off unwanted animals. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Police Officers Use AC/DC's 'Hell's Bells' to Herd Cattle Off the Road," 11 Sep. 2019 The challenge has been to select seedlings with enough Chinese blood in them to ward off the disease and yet still look like the American chestnut. Washington Post, "Blight wiped out the American chestnut. Parallel efforts are close to bringing it back.," 18 Dec. 2019 Believing that mandatory disclosure was the only way to ward off potential conflicts, Houston pressured the university to comply with state law. Annie Waldman, ProPublica, "Medical Professors are Supposed to Share Their Outside Income With the University of California. But Many Don’t.," 6 Dec. 2019

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ward

Noun

Middle English, from Old English weard & Anglo-French warde, garde, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German warta act of watching, Old English warian to beware of, guard, wær careful — more at guard, wary

Verb

Middle English, from Old English weardian & Anglo-French warder, garder, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wartēn to watch, Old Norse vartha to guard, Old English weard ward

Adjective suffix

-ward from Middle English, from Old English -weard; akin to Old High German -wart, -wert -ward, Latin vertere to turn; -wards from -wards, adverb suffix — more at worth

Adverb suffix

-ward from Middle English, from Old English -weard, from -weard, adjective suffix; -wards from Middle English, from Old English -weardes, genitive singular neuter of -weard, adjective suffix

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Time Traveler for ward

Time Traveler

The first known use of ward was before the 12th century

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Statistics for ward

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for ward

ward

noun
How to pronounce Ward (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ward

: a section in a hospital for patients needing a particular kind of care
US : a section in a prison
: one of the sections into which a city or town is divided for the purposes of an election

ward

noun
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Kids Definition of ward

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a large room in a hospital where a number of patients often needing similar treatment are cared for
2 : one of the parts into which a town or city is divided for management
3 : a person under the protection of a guardian

ward

verb
warded; warding

Kids Definition of ward (Entry 2 of 4)

: to avoid being hit or affected by Wear a sweater to ward off the cold.
\ wərd \
variants: also -wards \ wərdz \

Kids Definition of -ward

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : that moves, faces, or is pointed toward windward
2 : that is found in the direction of
variants: or -wards

Kids Definition of -ward (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : in a specified direction upward
2 : toward a specified place

ward

noun
\ ˈwȯ(ə)rd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Medical Definition of ward

: a division in a hospital especially : a large room in a hospital where a number of patients often requiring similar treatment are accommodated a diabetic ward

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ward

noun
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Legal Definition of ward

1 : a division of a city for representative, electoral, or administrative purposes
2a : a person who by reason of incapacity (as minority or incompetency) is under the control of a guardian
b : a person who by reason of incapacity is under the protection of a court either directly or through a guardian appointed by the court

called also ward of the court

— compare interdict

Other Words from ward

wardship noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on ward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ward

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ward

Spanish Central: Translation of ward

Nglish: Translation of ward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ward for Arabic Speakers

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