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 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 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 ˈär-tə-məs (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

Holley and April, both nurses in the maternity ward at the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, grew close. CBS News, "Did a missing Army nurse fall prey to a serial killer targeting military women?," 26 June 2018 His longest stay in a psychiatric ward lasted three months. Greg Bishop, SI.com, "Mauro Ranallo Aims to Reach an Important Audience With Documentary on His Bipolar Disorder," 18 May 2018 After finishing the second season of The Crown in 2017, Foy starred in Unsane, a film by Steven Soderbergh set in a psychiatric ward and shot over 10 days on an iPhone. Gavanndra Hodge, WSJ, "Claire Foy Steps Into the Spotlight," 9 Jan. 2019 Called the Patio Shield, this device creates a 15-foot zone of protection that wards of mosquitoes. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Fend Off Bugs This Summer With Amazon's Thermacell Sale," 17 Apr. 2019 Reckitt Benckiser, the company that owns Lysol disinfectant and Durex condoms, will struggle to wash its hands of its former ward Indivior. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Lysol’s Owner Has a Fresh Mess on its Hands," 11 Apr. 2019 Now, Steel had to get another shot — actually two shots of immunoglobulin, a substance that boosts the immune system and, in the best-case scenario, wards off measles. Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times, "Fear, resentment — and more demand for vaccines as one Washington county grapples with measles outbreak," 1 Apr. 2019 Princess Diana’s 1987 visit to the UK’s first AIDS ward saw the world’s first major shift in the perception of illness. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Stars in Moving PSA to End HIV and Get More People Testing," 17 Nov. 2018 The only way to view the Rorschach artworks is through the psych ward, which is the bounce house. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Artist CJ Hendry’s New Show Is Completely Insane," 17 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In this installment of Practical Magic, Lisa Stardust explains how to ward off energy vampires. Lisa Stardust, Teen Vogue, "How to Use Magic to Banish Energy Vampires," 28 May 2019 But that in turn also helps keep your estrogen levels in balance, creating a healthy mucosal lining that can help ward off infections. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "The Best—and Worst—Foods for Vaginal Health," 22 Mar. 2019 When our circadian rhythms are off, those clock genes affect stress hormones, inflammation, and bacteria in our gut that helps ward off infection. Lauren Le Vine, Redbook, "Those Late Nights Are Wreaking Havoc On Your Immune System," 12 Nov. 2013 Players still wanting to show off their bare arms may rub Vaseline on their arms to ward off the wind, while others will spray Right Guard to make sure the body doesn’t perspire—keeping skin dry and, therefore, warmer. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "How NFL Fields, and Players, Stay Warm for Winter Games," 16 Jan. 2019 The star currently brings home £200k-a-week, but the Blues will try to ward off Real Madrid once and for all by offering £300k-a-week. SI.com, "Chelsea Have Strong Chance of Keeping Eden Hazard Following Zinedine Zidane's Exit at Real Madrid," 5 June 2018 This helps ward off any ants and encourages the blooming process. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Fact or Fiction: Do Peonies Attract Ants?," 27 Mar. 2019 The Calming Smelling Salts This small, gilded vial is filled with a reinvigorating mix of amethyst and Hawaiian black salts infused with a unique mix of antiviral lavender, patchouli, and peppermint oils designed to ward off germs—and bad energy! Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "How to Turn Your Desk Into the Ultimate Self-Care Station in 2019," 12 Dec. 2018 The starting location and exact route for the ride is under wraps to ward off creeps, organizers say. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "A guide to Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride, which skirts Chicago law a little bit," 7 June 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

war crime

war cry

-ward

ward

Ward

wardable

war dance

Statistics for ward

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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

: 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ward

Spanish Central: Translation of ward

Nglish: Translation of ward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ward for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ward

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