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 However, the amendment also says that the BZA can’t be filled with members from just one ward. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 2 Aug. 2022 Aurora is ready to hear from the public about possible new ward maps for the city. Steve Lord, Chicago Tribune, 1 Aug. 2022 The judges on hunger strikes have been sleeping on the floor of the Judges’ Club in Tunis, a building that typically hosts conferences and other events but transformed into a makeshift ward. Mohamed Bliwa, Washington Post, 30 July 2022 It was composed for a documentary about the San Francisco General Hospital AIDS ward during the 1980s — and the bravery and devotion of the doctors and nurses who cared for the sick in those years. Thom Duffy, Billboard, 27 July 2022 The show follows the staff and patients of a neurosurgical ward in a Copenhagen hospital. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 27 July 2022 During the virtual event, Fergie helped to officially open a new specialist hematology ward at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 21 July 2022 This series, based on a memoir of the same name by Adam Kay, follows an OB-GYN and his colleagues on a labor ward at an NHS hospital. Sarah Mupo, STAT, 8 July 2022 Adachi ward plans to use those, and its own extra budget, to avoid passing the burden on to families. Reuters, CNN, 5 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, this tea can help ward off disease and support immunity. Valerie Agyeman, Good Housekeeping, 20 July 2022 Sitting on top of that spike is a gummy shark to ward off anyone who might be inclined to steal a bite. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 22 June 2022 Google is now proposing to split parts of its business into a separate company under the Alphabet umbrella to ward off a potential U.S. antitrust lawsuit aimed at its ad-tech business, according to a Friday Wall Street Journal article. Laura Forman, WSJ, 11 July 2022 One man [in 1919] recalled the night during his childhood when his father stood armed at a jail until morning to ward off lynchers. Corey Robin, The New Yorker, 9 July 2022 Others are disposed of in a deadly game that seems to be a cross between handball and jai alai, with just a touch of ancient gladiatorial shields thrown in to ward off the deadly fireballs used in the contest. Arthur Knight, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 July 2022 The most common is cedar oil or shavings, which silverfish greatly dislike, and can be sprinkled in the affected area to ward them off. Samantha Lawyer, Country Living, 8 June 2021 The British sent two Royal Navy patrol vessels, HMS Severn and HMS Tamar, armed with cannon and machine guns, to ward them off. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 Burgess was finally able to ward her off by throwing a big rock into the distance. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, 14 Oct. 2020 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

-ward

ward

Ward

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Statistics for ward

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward. Accessed 14 Aug. 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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