Thesaurus

guard

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of guard

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a person or group that watches over someone or something
  • checked in with the security guard at the gate

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2 a position of readiness to oppose actual or expected attack
  • be on your guard against snakes in the swamp

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3 a protective device (as on a weapon) to prevent accidental operation
  • slid the guard into place over the chainsaw chain

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4 means or method of defending
  • the boxer's sparring partner managed to get a blow in under his left guard

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5 one that accompanies another for protection, guidance, or as a courtesy
  • the honor guards raised their sabers as the happy couple descended the church steps

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6 someone that protects
  • a battalion of burly guards surrounding the celebrity

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guard

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of guard (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to drive danger or attack away from
  • guard the quarterback so he doesn't get sacked

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Phrases Synonymous with guard

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Antonyms for guard

2 to disallow entry into (a place) by means of a physical barrier at the entry point
  • a fire-breathing dragon guarded the entrance to the castle

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About guard

How is the word guard different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of guard are defend, protect, safeguard, and shield. While all these words mean "to keep secure from danger or against attack," guard implies protecting with vigilance and force against expected danger.

White House entrances are well guarded

In what contexts can defend take the place of guard?

The words defend and guard are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, defend denotes warding off actual or threatened attack.

defend the country

When can protect be used instead of guard?

While the synonyms protect and guard are close in meaning, protect implies the use of something (such as a covering) as a bar to the admission or impact of what may attack or injure.

a hard hat to protect your head

Where would safeguard be a reasonable alternative to guard?

In some situations, the words safeguard and guard are roughly equivalent. However, safeguard implies taking precautionary protective measures against merely possible danger.

our civil liberties must be safeguarded

When is shield a more appropriate choice than guard?

The words shield and guard can be used in similar contexts, but shield suggests protective intervention in imminent danger or actual attack.

shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand

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Time Traveler for guard

Time Traveler

The first known use of guard was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Guard.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/guard. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on guard

Dictionary: Definition of guard

Nglish: Translation of guard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guard for Arabic Speakers

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