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 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

-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 Alin Spannaus is a Latter-day Saint bishop of a Spanish-speaking ward, or congregation, in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune, "‘It just hurts my heart’ — How COVID dissent pushed some Latter-day Saints away from their church," 2 May 2021 Half a dozen gurneys were scattered on the hospital grounds in front of the Covid-19 ward, with people struggling to breathe. WSJ, "India’s Covid Surge Is Most Ferocious Yet. ‘Spreading Like Wildfire.’," 25 Apr. 2021 As of Monday, a dozen other people in his ward also had pulled petitions from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Robert Higgs, cleveland, "State panel suspends indicted Cleveland City Councilman Ken Johnson," 20 Apr. 2021 Voters will also choose their local ward councilor on the November ballot. BostonGlobe.com, "Nomination papers for Newton’s city election in November available starting Monday," 29 Apr. 2021 Carrie Austin, whose ward office was raided by federal agents in June 2019. John Byrne, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, nephew of Richard M. Daley, hit with federal charges in bank case," 29 Apr. 2021 Along with Director of Planning & Development Shawn Leininger, the mayor is hosting virtual State of the City addresses targeting each ward in the community. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood mayor hosting virtual State of the City addresses for each ward," 29 Apr. 2021 Parton helped fund the LeConte Medical Center’s women’s health ward. Laken Brooks, Forbes, "The Moderna Vaccine Is Part Of Dolly Parton’s Long Legacy Of Health Philanthropy," 28 Apr. 2021 The war room reports to Dr Urmila Patil, the medical officer of health for the K-East ward. Smitha Nair, Quartz, "Inside a Covid-19 war room in Mumbai, school teachers fight what feels like an interminable war," 26 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And, by forming a co-op with the intention of keeping monthly holding costs low, residents can ward off absentee investment groups, which will be discouraged by unstable revenue streams. The New Yorker, "The Mail," 29 Mar. 2021 Compounds laced into plants like silver vine and catnip might also help cats ward off mosquitoes, equipping them with a DIY pest repellent that’s far more fun to apply than a greasy coat of DEET. New York Times, "Your Cat Isn’t Just Getting High Off Catnip," 20 Jan. 2021 The Soviet threat spurred the creation of civil defense agencies at the local, state and federal level, which captured the public's attention with complex plans to ward off disaster. Eric Roper, Star Tribune, "Why does Minnesota test tornado sirens so often?," 30 Apr. 2021 When the Covid-19 pandemic began, the original series started turning up on binge-watching lists as if on the homeopathic principle that small doses of fear might ward off bigger fears. Andrew Delbanco, The New York Review of Books, "Night Terrors," 3 Nov. 2020 The company has started studying the effects of a third dose of its vaccine and plans to offer it to 144 volunteers to determine if an additional shot given six to 12 months after the first two helps ward off potential infection from newer variants. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Rediscovering life’s rhythms," 25 Feb. 2021 In the letter, AP reported, Trout wrote that Microsoft no longer supports the 2008 Windows Server that the office uses and lacks the multi-factor identification needed to ward off hackers. Tim Gruver, Washington Examiner, "Oregon elections boss fired after allegedly making complaints over IT problems," 11 Nov. 2020 Finished with a laminate coating to ward off stains, scratches, and fading, the water-resistant tiles are designed to stand up well in high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and mudrooms. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "This New Peel-and-Stick Tile Makes It So Easy to Refresh Your Floors with Bold Style," 23 Mar. 2021 Some of the most satisfying wrinkles, not surprisingly, involve Superman (Henry Cavill), whose revival to ward off this apocalyptic threat (or Apokolips-tic threat, in deference to Darkseid's home) provides a central dilemma. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Zack Snyder's Justice League' presents the director's dark vision to fans who campaigned for it," 15 Mar. 2021

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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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

-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

More from Merriam-Webster on ward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ward

Nglish: Translation of ward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ward for Arabic Speakers

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