ward

noun
\ˈwȯrd \

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 off ward 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 \

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 \ 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

Huncho then injects himself into the video for a verse outside of the psychiatric ward. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Rich The Kid Nearly Goes Insane in New 'Lost It' Video Featuring Quavo & Offset," 10 July 2018 After reading the charges, the judge read the boy his rights and went over possible penalties, including juvenile detention, probation and being placed as a ward in a home or center. Mark Alesia, Indianapolis Star, "Here’s why we may never know how the Noblesville school shooter got guns," 12 June 2018 The beds in this ward are overflowing with patients, the rounded stumps of their amputated limbs pointing at the ceiling. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 About – 10 days ago was transferred to the prison ward. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Service Diary of a Corpsman: Roy L. Wall, LST 509," 28 May 2018 At the time, Mrs. Palmer was a tall, sturdy woman of 60 who had taken care of hundreds of babies in her prior career in the nursery ward at Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia. Liz Rubin, San Francisco Chronicle, "The lasting lessons of childhood influences," 25 May 2018 Kinkel also teaches yoga in the mental health ward after picking it up in a prison class about four years ago, McCown said. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Thurston 20 years later: 'I wondered what I could have done'," 20 May 2018 From there, a social worker helped Michalik have Butler, then 17, admitted to the juvenile ward at Sierra Vista Hospital, a mental health facility near Elk Grove. Anita Chabria And Darrell Smith, sacbee, "This mother is demanding a test for DNA, even if it proves her son is guilty of rape | The Sacramento Bee," 4 May 2018 The Guardian reported in 2016 that new moms in the U.K. tend to stay an average of a day and a half in the maternity ward after giving birth, and that’s the shortest length of time out of any high-income country. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Kate Middleton Left the Hospital So Quickly After Giving Birth," 23 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The first step in warding off these symptoms is having a solid asthma action plan, which should outline the medications necessary to keep your asthma to a minimum. Korin Miller, SELF, "13 Changes You Can Make at Home to Control Your Asthma," 31 Aug. 2018 Cowpox was a virus that their immune systems could fight off, and the cellular recording of that fight—the creation of a defense protocol in the immune system—would often ward off smallpox, too. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Man Who Says Science Blew Its Best Shot at an AIDS Vaccine," 1 June 2018 The taste of salt was on every tongue — from sweat, from tears, from Gatorade chugged to ward off dehydration. Stephanie Farr, Philly.com, "Thousands in Philadelphia protest ICE and Trump," 30 June 2018 No Sweat Keep shoes dry to ward off bacteria and fungus. Max Berlinger, New York Times, "Men, Are You Wearing Sandals This Summer? Read This First," 13 June 2018 The company also is looking to ward off competitors on multiple fronts, including Amazon.com Inc., German discounter Aldi and meal-kit purveyor Blue Apron Holdings Inc. The move sent shares of Blue Apron down as much as 5.8% on Monday. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Walmart starts offering meal kits and prepared dinners, challenging Blue Apron and restaurants," 5 Mar. 2018 Named to the three-year advisory stint in 1985, Mas Canosa warded off threats to replace him for nine years. Christopher Marquis, miamiherald, "Jorge Mas Canosa dead at 58," 15 June 2018 Range riders can ward wolves away from livestock in open country. Kale Williams, OregonLive.com, "As Oregon wolves rebound, tensions rise over livestock attacks," 10 June 2018 Teammates communicate via headsets, launch missions to scavenge for supplies amid a post-apocalyptic landscape, build traps and ultimately ward off and destroy a legion of zombies, all the while shoring up a fort against the encroaching mob. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Fortnite: How a video game became baseball's most addictive pastime, from MLB to Little League," 21 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near ward

warcraft

war crime

war cry

ward

-ward

Ward

wardable

Statistics for ward

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ward

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

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More Definitions for ward

ward

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ward

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a section in a hospital for patients needing a particular kind of care

: a section in a prison

: one of the sections into which a city or town is divided for the purposes of an election

English Language Learners Definition of -ward (Entry 2 of 3)

: that moves, tends, faces, or is directed toward

: that occurs or is located in the direction of

English Language Learners Definition of -ward (Entry 3 of 3)

: in or toward a (specified) direction

ward

noun
\ˈwȯrd \

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 \

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 \

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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Comments on ward

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something that serves to warn or remind

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