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

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 One of the exiles is Spots, whose owner happens to be the mayor’s ward, a boy by the name of Atari (Koyu Rankin). John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "“Tomb Raider” and “Isle of Dogs,” Reviewed," 15 Mar. 2018 Inside, doctors declared the Wild Boars in good health overall, releasing video of them waving from their group ward. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 Hobbs spoke about the accomplishments of the hospital and showed a film about its new neonatal ward. Jane Napier Neely, latimes.com, "The Valley Line: USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, Child Educational Center get boosts from supporters this month," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The rumored benefits include boosting the skin's natural defenses against free radicals and UV radiation, as well as warding off visible signs of stress and pollution. Allure, "Melatonin Is Trending in Skin Care Lately, But Can It Really Benefit Your Skin?," 20 Mar. 2019 Despite his star continuing to rise and the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool lurking in the shadows, Hodgson remains confident the club can ward off interest to keep Zaha at Selhurst Park. SI.com, "Roy Hodgson Confident Crystal Palace Can Fend Off Rivals' Interest & Keep Hold of Wilfried Zaha," 12 May 2018 At the time, her accessories were meant to ward off competitors like a young Sansa Stark and Margery Tyrell. Glamour, "Why All the Game of Thrones Women Are Dressing Alike in Season 8," 12 Apr. 2019 Perfumes can attract positivity, call in new people into your life [and] certain fragrances can be used to ward off negativity. Dianca London Potts, SELF, "8 Modern Witches Share Their Daily Beauty Rituals," 11 Apr. 2019 To keep skin smoother for longer, celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas recommends a combination of hydration, sunglasses to help ward off UV damage (make sure your sunnies come with UV protection), and that old skincare standby, sunscreen. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Best Ways to Handle Crow's Feet," 15 Feb. 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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Dictionary Entries near ward

warcraft

war crime

war cry

ward

-ward

Ward

wardable

Statistics for ward

Last Updated

13 May 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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