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

But what is accepted with grim resignation at the detox ward is a source of deep dismay for medical experts. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "You’re Not Clean Until You’re 110% Clean," 9 July 2018 The police find her, on another ward, and coax her back to her room. The Economist, "A blurred blue line for cops," 21 June 2018 But increasingly, medical care goes beyond the examination room or the surgical ward. Nancy Shohet West, BostonGlobe.com, "On the road to health, leaving the hospital is only the start," 10 May 2018 Diana, Princess of Wales paved the way; Prince William became the first future king to be born in a hospital, period, and his parents selected the ward in Paddington for the occasion. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Inside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's, Where Kate Middleton Will Give Birth," 12 Apr. 2018 One night, as Henry sat in the TV room watching a reality show about aspiring Miami rappers, a half-dozen MS-13 members walked up to him, led by a Brentwood High student who had established himself as the gang’s leader on the ward. Hannah Dreier, Daily Intelligencer, "The Betrayal of Triste," 2 Apr. 2018 Resident Tatsumi Kanamori helped clear dirt from roads in a neighborhood in Hiroshima’s Asakita ward, where debris has cut off vehicle access. Washington Post, "Abe visiting flood-hit western Japan as deaths reach 176," 10 July 2018 Resident Tatsumi Kanamori helped clear dirt from roads in a neighborhood in Hiroshima's Asakita ward, where debris has cut off vehicle access. Haruka Nuga, Fox News, "Abe visiting flood-hit western Japan as deaths reach 176," 10 July 2018 Porter wrote, adding that Brown was the victim of a bitter divorce battle between his parents and ended up as a ward of the state that left him moving from home to home 50 times. Sam Stanton, sacbee, "This guy robbed three banks. Should a bad childhood and divorce earn him a break? | The Sacramento Bee," 17 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Umtiti's current release clause is a keen reason why the Spanish giants are desperate to give the Frenchman a new deal and ward off any potential suitors in the coming summer. SI.com, "Barcelona President Hints He Won't Break Wage Structure As Umtiti Contract Negotiations Continue," 9 May 2018 Experts aren’t quite sure why exercise may help ward off migraines in some people, but there’s a lot of curiosity around physical activity’s ability to modulate a person’s pain response through endorphins or other influences. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Yes, Your Workouts Could Actually Be Triggering Your Migraines," 23 June 2018 Commercial Spam relies on abusive heat inside a pressure canner and sodium nitrite (pink curing salt to anyone who has cured sausages at home) to help ward off potentially deadly bacteria for shelf storage. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: The magic of Liholiho Yacht Club," 22 June 2018 Could the promise of new tax cuts excite the GOP base and help them ward off the anti-Trump fervor expected to drive Democrats to the voting booth? Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "Trump wants to cut taxes. Again. He just cut taxes.," 23 May 2018 Maintaining hygiene, seeing a doctor regularly and exercising can help ward off the disease, the organization says. Shelby Fleig, USA TODAY, "5 things to know about COPD, the lung disease ailing Barbara Bush," 16 Apr. 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

Phrases Related to ward

ward off

Statistics for ward

Last Updated

16 Sep 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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