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 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
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 Booker opened a new police headquarters in the city’s most underserved and crime-ridden ward. Dax-devlon Ross, Washington Post, "One City’s Struggle to Police the Police," 4 Dec. 2019 Mike Zalewski, who represented a neighboring ward to Madigan’s 13th Ward stronghold. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, "FBI agents asking questions about House Speaker Madigan and his political operation, say four people they’ve interviewed," 4 Dec. 2019 Geographically the city is divided into the northern Kita and the southern Minami districts and further subdivided into 24 ku (wards). Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Osaka Is a Food-Obsessed City Unlike Anywhere Else in Japan," 16 Nov. 2019 Since the deaths last year, the Clarksburg VA has tightened the control of insulin on hospital wards. Donovan Slack, USA TODAY, "'National tragedy': Surveillance, staffing under review after deaths at VA hospital," 16 Nov. 2019 When her daughter Abigail’s birth required a prolonged hospital stay, Klobuchar discovered insurance regulations that evicted her from the maternity ward after 24 hours. Time, "In the Democratic Primary, Amy Klobuchar Makes the Case for Pragmatism Over “Pipe Dreams”," 14 Nov. 2019 For example, several wards whose populations are predominantly of South Asian origin voted for Brexit in 2016, even though ethnic minorities as a whole voted to remain in the EU. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "The Labour party has angered some British Hindus over its views on Kashmir," 13 Nov. 2019 The ward spans the Frogtown and Summit-University areas, as well as parts of adjoining neighborhoods. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Dai Thao, Nelsie Yang win St. Paul City Council races after Round 2 of vote count," 10 Nov. 2019 The same bacteria that once terrorized hospital wards are back with a vengeance. Seema Verma, STAT, "Seema Verma: CMS’s ‘expanded pathway’ for new antibiotics can help fight antimicrobial resistance," 6 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The escort vessels around and below them ward off unfriendly submarines and shoot down incoming missiles. The Economist, "Aircraft-carriers are big, expensive, vulnerable—and popular," 14 Nov. 2019 Penske's purchase warded off the potential of a corporation or group of investors snagging the speedway and trampling over the tradition that looms large on the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road. Jenna Fryer, orlandosentinel.com, "Big week continues for Roger Penske in NASCAR’s penultimate race for Cup," 10 Nov. 2019 Six days before the March 2018 primary, Munoz’s state central committee and ward campaign funds each gave Angie Sandoval’s campaign $15,000. Dan Petrella, chicagotribune.com, "Sen. Martin Sandoval’s daughter took in more than $52,000 during failed County Board bid from people and companies later named in federal corruption probe," 18 Oct. 2019 The July 2008 summit, held in Japan, managed to achieve little by way of warding off the global recession, though some noise was made about a universal code of conduct for hedge funds. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "The Impotence of the G-7," 26 Aug. 2019 While cats can help breweries of all kinds eliminate and ward off pests, Inverness ’ rural setting on Frank’s northern Baltimore county farm offers more room to roam and vermin to attack. Sameer Rao, baltimoresun.com, "More tales of the kitty: Meet another round of Baltimore’s cutest store cats," 12 Nov. 2019 Pagan Celtic Festival involving dressing up and warding off evil spirits? Brianne Tracy, PEOPLE.com, "Hailey Baldwin Responds to Being Called a 'Fake Christian' for Celebrating Halloween," 18 Oct. 2019 However, scientists weren't always this united on the folly of nuking, coating, coaxing, inoculating or otherwise warding off mammoth weather events. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Why not bomb a hurricane? NOAA gets asked about it all the time," 26 Aug. 2019 Engaging with each other online can ward off depression. Payal Arora, Quartz, "The biggest myths about the next billion internet users," 5 Nov. 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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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

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward?pronunciation&lang=en_us&file=ward0001. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ward

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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