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 offward 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 The addition of a grocery store, planned for East 105th Street and Cedar Avenue, is significant because there isn’t one nearby for many residents in Fairfax and the surrounding neighborhoods, said Griffin, whose ward includes the area. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Cleveland Clinic, development corporation to install small grocery store in Fairfax food desert. Could it be Meijer?," 23 Oct. 2020 Kerry McCormack, a Cleveland city councilman whose ward includes downtown, says that’s especially true of companies that want to attract young employees who enjoy walking to baseball games or breweries after work. Tom Krisher And Michael Liedtke, chicagotribune.com, "Detroit was roaring back. Then, the pandemic hit.," 21 Oct. 2020 In January 2008, the then-26-year-old Spears was committed to a hospital psychiatric ward against her will, and her father, Jamie, obtained temporary legal control of her affairs. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Why the ‘Free Britney’ Saga Feels So Familiar," 6 Oct. 2020 As the nation's Commander-in-chief, Trump has been delegated to the VIP treatment ward, otherwise called Ward 71. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Spotlight on Walter Reed Medical Center brings back powerful memories for US wounded warriors," 5 Oct. 2020 The Marines are also likely keeping the location under wraps to ward of spies and souvenir seekers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "After Tanker Collision, Remnants of a Marine F-35B Are Sprinkled Across California," 30 Sep. 2020 Pharmaceutical executives have also been expected to lead the way, like the construction manager who donned P.P.E. in order to escort his workers into the patient ward. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "Nine Days in Wuhan, the Ground Zero of the Coronavirus Pandemic," 5 Oct. 2020 As for concerns in Ward 3, Spaetzel explained the ward includes a good portion of lakefront, including Veterans Park south to the Town Center and Landings at Walker Road and State Route 83. cleveland, "Retired Bay Village police chief appointed Ward 3 Avon Lake councilman Avon Lake: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 3 Oct. 2020 The group also asked for the support of their alderman, George Cardenas, 12th, whose ward includes Little Village. Laura Rodríguez Presa, chicagotribune.com, "Discount Mall vendors ally with young activists to fight displacement in Little Village: ‘This is not just a mall, this is our culture’," 21 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Chicago-area grocers stock up to ward off shortages as COVID-19 cases rise. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area," 26 Oct. 2020 The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that Palm Beach County’s health department director Dr. Alina Alonso said the county must stay vigilant to ward off COVID-19 as the region prepares for more infections. Garfield Hylton, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida reports 5,557 new coronavirus cases, 57 more resident deaths," 22 Oct. 2020 Republicans are in the habit of summoning the ghost of 2016 to ward off concerns about their current polls. Philip Wegmann - Rcp Staff, al, "COVID, Hunter Biden likely to dominate final 2020 presidential debate," 22 Oct. 2020 Palm Beach County must stay vigilant to ward off COVID-19 as the region prepares for more infections, warns Dr. Alina Alonso, the county’s health department director. Wells Dusenbury, sun-sentinel.com, "Palm Beach County must stay ‘very cautious’ as COVID-19 cases rise, health director warns," 21 Oct. 2020 Throughout many of his articles, Kotkin has laid out policy ideas that might ward off feudalism. John Loftus, National Review, "How the GOP Can Win Over Millennials," 18 Oct. 2020 As the weather turns colder and drier, bumping up the humidity in your home is one way to ward off the coronavirus. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Ohio sets record for coronavirus cases in what could be the start of fall surge: The Wake Up for Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020," 15 Oct. 2020 To handle viral specimens, techs need to wear full PPE, including special hoods meant to ward off infection. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "The Guardians of Elmhurst," 13 Oct. 2020 Some tried to ward off the virus by discharging gunpowder into the air – yellow fever was thought to be transmitted by bad vapours. The Economist, "The epidemic that exposed racial fissures in America – two centuries ago," 7 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for ward

Last Updated

27 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for ward

ward

noun
How to pronounce Ward (audio)

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

-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

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Comments on ward

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