from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To watch over to keep from being harmed or injured: synonym: defend.
  • intransitive verb To supervise the entry and exit through; keep watch at.
  • intransitive verb To watch over so as to prevent escape or violence.
  • intransitive verb To keep from risk or curtailment; ensure the safety or integrity of.
  • intransitive verb Sports To keep (an opposing player) from scoring or playing effectively, usually by remaining close to the player to disrupt offensive play.
  • intransitive verb To maintain control over, as to prevent indiscretion.
  • intransitive verb To furnish (a device or object) with a part that protects people from harm or injury.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To escort as a guard.
  • intransitive verb To take precautions.
  • intransitive verb To serve as a guard.
  • noun One who protects, keeps watch, or acts as a sentinel.
  • noun One who supervises prisoners.
  • noun An honor guard.
  • noun Chiefly British A railway employee in charge of a train.
  • noun Football One of the two offensive linemen on either side of the center.
  • noun Basketball Either of the two players normally positioned in the backcourt who are responsible for bringing the ball to and initiating offensive plays from the frontcourt.
  • noun Sports A defensive position or stance, as in boxing or fencing.
  • noun The act or duty of guarding.
  • noun Protection; watch.
  • noun Something that gives protection; a safeguard.
  • noun A device or attachment that prevents injury, damage, or loss, especially.
  • noun An attachment or covering put on a machine to protect the operator or a part of the machine.
  • noun A device on a foil, sword, or knife that protects the hand.
  • noun A padded covering worn to protect a body part from injury.
  • noun A small chain or band attached to a watch or bracelet to prevent loss.
  • noun A ring worn to prevent a more valuable ring from sliding off the finger.
  • noun Electronics A signal that prevents accidental activation of a device or ambiguous interpretation of data.
  • idiom (off (one's) guard) Not alert; unprepared.
  • idiom (on (one's) guard) Alert and watchful; cautious.
  • idiom (stand guard) To keep watch.
  • idiom (stand guard) To act as a sentinel.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To secure against injury of any kind in any manner; specifically, to protect by attendance; defend; keep in safety; accompany as a protection.
  • To provide or secure against objections, or the attacks of hostile criticism or malevolence.
  • To protect the edge of, especially by an ornamental border; hence, to adorn with lists, laces, or ornaments.
  • To fasten on a guard for the purpose of binding.
  • To insert guards between the leaves of (an intended guard-book).
  • Synonyms To shield, shelter, watch.
  • To watch by way of caution or defense; be cautious; be in a state of caution or defense.
  • noun In foot-ball, basket-ball, and similar games, a player occupying a certain position.
  • noun In fortification, the keep of a castle; the lodging of the main guard.
  • noun A state of readiness to oppose attack; a state of defense; in general, a state of protection against injury or impairment of any kind.
  • noun Specifically, a state of caution or vigilance; attentive observation designed to prevent surprise or attack; watch; heed: as, to keep guard; to be on one's guard; to keep a careful guard over the tongue.
  • noun One who or that which protects or keeps in safety; one who or that which secures against danger, attack, loss, or injury; one who keeps protecting watch.
  • noun Specifically— A man or body of men occupied in preserving a person or place from attack or injury, or in preventing an escape; he or they whose business it is to defend, or to prevent attack or surprise: as, a body-guard; a prison guard.
  • noun Anything that keeps off evil: as, modesty is the guard of innocence.
  • noun That which secures against hostile criticism or censure; a protection against malevolent or ignorant attacks upon one's reputation, opinions, etc.
  • noun In fencing or boxing, a posture of passive defense; the arms or weapon in such a posture: as, to beat down one's guard.
  • noun In the game of cricket, the position of the bat for most effectually defending the wicket.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English garden, from Old French garder, guarder, of Germanic origin; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

For verb: From early Middle French or late Old French (circa 14th cent) guarder ("to keep, ward, guard, save, preserve, etc."), from Frankish *wardōn (from Proto-Germanic *wardo-), cognate with Old English weardian (from which English to ward). Compare French garder. See also English regard.


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  • _ H. - So. supposes heáfod-weard, _a guard of honor_, such as sovereigns or presumptive rulers had, to be meant by hafalan hýdan; hence, _you need not give me any guard_, etc.Cf. Schmid, _Gesetze der A. _, 370-372. l.

    Beowulf Robert Sharp 1879

  • _ H. - So. supposes hēafod-weard, _a guard of honor_, such as sovereigns or presumptive rulers had, to be meant by hafalan hȳdan; hence, _you need not give me any guard_, etc.Cf. Schmid, _Gesetze der A. _, 370-372. l.

    Beowulf Robert Sharp 1879

  • The Strel'tsy were divided in three establishments: a) the grooms [Stremiannye], who represented the guard of the sovereign [Strasza Gossudaria], b) the Moscow Strel'tsy, c) the frontier Strel'tsy, or frontier guard….

    Cranberry Sauce Struve, Gleb 1977

  • Stanko says: everyone needs to pay attention to the trailor and see that the Security guard is not patrolling the skate park, but it seems as if its a guard from the rail road yard.


  • The Boston-area guard is another explosive scorer who had 43 points in the National Prep Championships.

    Big East Conference 2010

  • The Boston-area guard is another explosive scorer who had 43 points in the National Prep Championships.

    Providence - Team Notes 2010

  • If the guard is a minute late, Rojas bangs on the gate's bars, and because he is the boss, the gate quickly swings open.

    Fishing the Venice Beach Pier Jonathan Miles 2005

  • The Sergeant of the guard is all right, but some of them are devils; they are looking for promotion, and know the way to get it is to excel in cruelty.

    Three Times and Out: A Canadian Boy's Experience in Germany Nellie L. McClung 1918

  • He gave instructions that my depot should be rung up, and he bade Wilson remove me to what he called the guard-room.

    Mr. Standfast John Buchan 1907

  • I knew you to be the man you are, the moment I laid eyes on you in what we call our guard-room; but I thought I would humor the old soldier who lives here, by letting him have the formula of an examination, as a sort of deference to his age and former rank.

    The Pilot James Fenimore Cooper 1820


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  • In fencing, the guard or bell guard protects the hand from the opponent's blade.

    February 6, 2007