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

Lori Lightfoot swept all 50 of Chicago’s wards in the 2019 mayoral runoff election after promising to end the city’s famed backroom dealing. Tim Fitzsimons, NBC News, "#Pride50: Lori Lightfoot — Chicago's first LGBTQ mayor," 3 June 2019 The Savannah Business Journal reported that short-term rentals that aren't owner-occupied are subject to a 20 percent cap in each of the city's 28 wards. Kevin Litten, NOLA.com, "What N.O. planners will study before short-term rental rules are changed," 25 May 2018 The organization is working with health NGO Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and other partners to boost the number of special isolation wards to treat patients. Euan Mckirdy And Meera Senthilingam, CNN, "WHO raises Ebola health risk to 'very high' in DR Congo," 18 May 2018 Wendy Kittleson, deputy director of the comptroller’s audit division, confirmed the office did not receive invoices or payment records from AdventHealth for any of the six wards in Volusia County identified by the Sentinel. Monivette Cordeiro, orlandosentinel.com, "Probe found guardian Rebecca Fierle billed AdventHealth nearly $4 million. Invoices show the total could be higher," 12 Sep. 2019 About 13% of wards in the north-east are classed as left-behind, the country’s highest rate. The Economist, "A new index finds neglect in Britain’s banlieues," 5 Sep. 2019 Certain libraries still have the weird antiseptic feeling of a hospital ward. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "Reader, I Googled It," 26 Aug. 2019 Each of the seven political wards has drawn at least three or four candidates. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "28 candidates file for 7 seats on the St. Paul City Council," 13 Aug. 2019 In the case of children who become wards of court, major decisions about their welfare cannot be made without the approval of a judge. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Dubai’s Princess Haya in court to block her child’s forced marriage," 31 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As was true during the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, Germany once again has little if any ability to ward off Russian aggression, whether conventional or nuclear, and knows it. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Ghosts of World War II," 5 Sep. 2019 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wants the club to offer Joel Matip a new contract to ward off interested clubs who could be contemplating a move for the defender in January, according to a report. SI.com, "Jurgen Klopp Stance on Joel Matip With Defender's Liverpool Contract Expiring Next Summer," 27 Aug. 2019 As for warding off evil, St. Mary’s has survived the destruction of its surrounding neighborhood, downtown urban renewal, and the construction of I-94 literally right next to it. Bulletin Board, Twin Cities, "Sunday Bulletin Board: There’s always something new to find in this ordinary old farmhouse," 16 June 2019 Every working band should know at least one magic trick for warding off the death of rock-and-roll, and that’s My Morning Jacket’s. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "After a long, strange trip ... all your indie faves are jam bands now," 6 June 2019 To ward off overheating, large animals such as elephants and rhinos had to evolve strategies to keep cool. John Pickrell, National Geographic, "New discovery shows how T. rex kept its brain cool," 4 Sep. 2019 In June, a massive plume of Saharan dust made its way from Africa to the Sunshine State, bringing hazy skies and vibrant sunsets while warding off storms. USA TODAY, "Emoji house, Saharan dust, turtle crossing: News from around our 50 states," 8 Aug. 2019 Before the morning ceremony, protesters trying to force their way to the square were driven back by officers with plastic shields and batons, the retreating protesters pointing open umbrellas to ward off pepper spray. Ken Moritsugu, Anchorage Daily News, "Hong Kong police clear protesters who occupied legislative building on handover anniversary," 1 July 2019 Arizona's measure is likely to give employers some ability to regulate their workers' consumption to ward off that type of opposition. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "10 things to look for in a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona," 29 June 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

14 Oct 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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