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 Last weekend, the covid-19 ward was about half full. Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2021 Kathryn Ivey became a registered nurse on July 27th, 2020, and went straight into a COVID ward in Nashville, Tennessee. Longreads, 13 Sep. 2021 At Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, another large public hospital in Johannesburg, doctors from other departments are being shifted to the Covid-19 ward to help deal with an influx of patients. Nicholas Bariyo, WSJ, 12 June 2021 Matt Marostica, who was the ward’s bishop from 2008 to 2015, sees his politics as inextricable from his faith. Emily Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Sep. 2021 As vice chair of the Charter Review Commission, Snodgrass advocated for a switch to a strong mayor and ward representation. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2021 Matt Marostica, who was the ward’s bishop from 2008 to 2015, sees his politics as inextricable from his faith. Emily Kaplan, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2021 The council was expected to adopt that plan on Oct. 12, with the ward plan due back to Milwaukee County by Oct. 18. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 Sep. 2021 Over the years, many aldermen have accepted all the salary increases tied to inflation, which have hiked the top earners among the 50 ward representatives to a current annual salary of $123,504, up from $98,125 in 2006. John Byrne, chicagotribune.com, 15 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The diamonds are believed to illuminate and emeralds to have held miraculous powers to heal and to ward off evil. Anthony Demarco, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 Cleaning gutters is an essential home maintenance task that helps ward off damage to your foundation, leaks, and other serious issues. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Oct. 2021 In 2014, a Food and Drug Administration review concluded that aspirin should not be used for primary prevention, such as to ward off a first heart attack or stroke, and noted the risks. The New York Times, Arkansas Online, 13 Oct. 2021 Some experts say a plurality of around 35% to 45% of a district's population gives it enough strength to elect its candidates and ward off any legal challenge. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, 12 Oct. 2021 Diamonds were thought to illuminate while emeralds miraculous powers to heal and to ward off evil. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 8 Oct. 2021 Steven Trombley, the facility’s managing director, needs the agility of a hockey goalie to ward off the daily complications. David J. Lynch, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Oct. 2021 Steven Trombley, the facility’s managing director, needs the agility of a hockey goalie to ward off the daily complications. Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2021 Milliken has made a number of new investments to protect Spottswoode, such as installing special vents on buildings that will seal up to ward off embers. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries Near ward

war cry

ward

-ward

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Statistics for ward

Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ward. Accessed 19 Oct. 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
: 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.

-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

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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

Nglish: Translation of ward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ward for Arabic Speakers

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