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
c(1) : a division in a hospital a maternity ward
(2) : a large room in a hospital where a number of patients often requiring similar treatment are accommodated Wallace Thurman died in 1934 in the tuberculosis ward of the New York City charity hospital on Welfare Island.— Zeese Papanikolas
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
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

-ward

adverb suffix
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 Jain returned to the U.S. in late April and has heard from family and friends that the entire hospital is now the COVID-19 ward. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, 17 May 2021 The fire broke out in a COVID-19 ward on the ground floor and was extinguished within an hour, police said. Fox News, 1 May 2021 The fire broke out in a COVID-19 ward on the ground floor of the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch, a town in Gujarat state, and was extinguished within an hour, police said. Ashok Sharma, chicagotribune.com, 1 May 2021 Kress, a 57-year-old roofer, had laid in a hospital bed in a COVID-19 ward at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical center for five days. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, 9 Apr. 2021 Sometimes, at the end of a shift on the COVID-19 ward at Methodist Hospital, nurse Roger Ruiz will check his email and find a Gratitude Gram. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Mar. 2021 After the facility found its first positive case on March 22, her unit became the COVID-19 ward. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Mar. 2021 When she was admitted in June to the COVID-19 care ward at her local hospital, her family refused a ventilator. Kate Cimini, USA TODAY, 27 Feb. 2021 Their daughter, Monique Rickel, is a nurse at U-M Hospital and makes rounds in the COVID-19 ward. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, association figures show its member lifeguards conducted 71,034 rescues, but also took more than 8.8 million preventative actions to ward off problems. BostonGlobe.com, 17 July 2021 That immunity boost might give people extra power to ward off the Delta variant and other worrisome strains. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 13 July 2021 Under global regulators’ plans to ward off threats to financial stability from the volatile market, banks will face the toughest capital requirements for holdings in Bitcoin. Prinesha Naidoo, Bloomberg.com, 29 June 2021 By aligning himself with Trump, who is still popular among the state’s conservative voters, Paxton may be trying to ward off potential GOP primary challengers in 2022, political scientists said. Lauren Mcgaughy, Dallas News, 28 Apr. 2021 Austin’s new restrictions come as local leaders grapple with the steep rise in cases that coincided with the holidays and attempt to ward off another surge in the days ahead. Raga Justin, ExpressNews.com, 30 Dec. 2020 Patti Young and Mike Painter met at a Latter-day Saint singles ward in the Avenues during the spring of 1974, dated in the summer, and married in the Salt Lake Temple that fall. Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Nov. 2020 Likewise, New Orleans' annual Mardi Gras parades have been canceled to ward off an outbreak event in 2021, according to CNN's Leah Asmelash. Sonia Ramirez, Chron, 18 Nov. 2020 Pfizer is about to seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, saying Thursday that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and maybe help ward off the latest worrisome coronavirus mutant. BostonGlobe.com, 9 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near ward

war cry

ward

-ward

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Statistics for ward

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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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.

-ward

adjective suffix
\ 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

-ward

adverb suffix
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 a maternity ward especially : a large room in a hospital where a number of patients often requiring similar treatment are accommodated a tuberculosis 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

More from Merriam-Webster on ward

Nglish: Translation of ward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ward for Arabic Speakers

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