ward

noun
\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce ward (audio) \

Definition of ward

 (Entry 1 of 4)

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 4)

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 4)

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 4)

1 : in a (specified) spatial or temporal direction upward afterward
2 : toward a (specified) point, position, or area earthward

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun She was admitted to a psychiatric ward at a hospital and spent time in an outpatient treatment program. Kristen M. Hall, Anchorage Daily News, 1 May 2022 She was admitted to a psychiatric ward at a hospital and spent time in an outpatient treatment program. al, 30 Apr. 2022 Her thoughts grew more despairing during the next few weeks in the hospital and then in the Navy’s psychiatric ward. Melissa Chan, NBC News, 28 Apr. 2022 There’s no way such interior design makes sense for any sort of medical institution, especially a psychiatric ward. Chris Smith, BGR, 20 Apr. 2022 Film is an adaptation of popular late ‘70s novel by Torcuato Luca de Tena, which revolves around a woman who checks into a psychiatric ward to investigate a murder. Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety, 11 Feb. 2022 During the course of the investigation, police interviewed Charlene Johnson, a teenager who had recently been discharged from a psychiatric ward, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2021 Ten days earlier, Black had left the psychiatric ward of a hospital with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Oct. 2021 Councilwoman Deborah Gray cited high crime rates in her ward, which includes the Buckeye, Woodland Hills and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods, along with the occurrence of carjackings across the city. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The citrus fruit is used in India as a cleaning agent, an ingredient in many dishes, to prepare a host of beverages, and to ward off evil. Mimansa Verma, Quartz, 12 Apr. 2022 Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says more government regulation is needed to police the proliferation of cryptocurrency and other digital assets and to ward off fraudulent and illicit transactions. Fatima Hussein, ajc, 7 Apr. 2022 Both Clarin and Patan speak passionately about farming, describing in detail how to get a good apple crop and ward off disease. Julie Watson, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Nov. 2021 And fat cells that are healthy and happy can help ward off a lot of human diseases, from cancer to diabetes. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Apr. 2022 Twitter at first moved to ward off Musk, adopting a poison pill defense meant to make any takeover attempt costly. Abram Brown, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 Amulets bearing her likeness were supposed to ward off evil spirits, plus protect children and mothers from sickness and death. Milan Polk, Men's Health, 20 Apr. 2022 And, to its defense, licorice does try to ward you off with its poisonous taste. Rebecca Douglas, Bon Appétit, 20 Apr. 2022 During the Middle Ages, for instance, Europeans burned bundles of rosemary in their homes and even stuffed it in their noses to ward off the Black Death, a.k.a. bubonic plague. Jeanette Marantosstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About ward

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

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ward

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

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

Ward biographical name (1)

\ ˈwȯrd How to pronounce Ward (audio) \

Definition of Ward

 (Entry 1 of 6)

(Aaron) Montgomery 1843–1913 American merchant

Ward

biographical name (2)

Definition of Ward (Entry 2 of 6)

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 3 of 6)

Artemus — see Charles Farrar browne

Ward

biographical name (4)

Definition of Ward (Entry 4 of 6)

Barbara 1914–1981 Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth English economist

Ward

biographical name (5)

Definition of Ward (Entry 5 of 6)

Sir Joseph George 1856–1930 New Zealand statesman

Ward

biographical name (6)

Definition of Ward (Entry 6 of 6)

Mary Augusta 1851–1920 Mrs. Humphry Ward née Arnold English novelist

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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