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

  • noun A room in a hospital usually holding six or more patients.
  • noun A division in a hospital for the care of a particular group of patients.
  • noun A division of a city or town, especially an electoral district, for administrative and representative purposes.
  • noun A district of some English and Scottish counties corresponding roughly to the hundred or the wapentake.
  • noun One of the divisions of a penal institution, such as a prison.
  • noun An open court or area of a castle or fortification enclosed by walls.
  • noun Law A minor or a person deemed legally incompetent.
  • noun A person under the protection or care of another.
  • noun The act of guarding or protecting; guardianship.
  • noun The act of keeping watch or being a lookout.
  • noun The state of being under guard; custody.
  • noun A defensive movement or attitude, especially in fencing; a guard.
  • noun The projecting ridge of a lock or keyhole that prevents the turning of a key other than the proper one.
  • noun The notch cut into a key that corresponds to such a ridge.
  • transitive verb To guard; protect.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name, proposed by the Scottish engineer James Thorn son, for a directed quantity as expressed graphically by the length and direction of a line.
  • noun A territorial division in the Mormon Church for purposes of ecclesiastical government. It is the administrative unit, with an executive head called a bishop.
  • noun A keeper; watchman; warden.
  • To take care of; keep in safety; watch; guard; defend; protect.
  • To put under guard; imprison.
  • To fend off; repel; turn aside: commonly followed by off.
  • To keep guard; watch.
  • To act on the defensive with a weapon; guard one's self.
  • To take care: followed by a clause beginning with that.
  • The suffix -ward separated as a distinct word.
  • A suffix of Anglo-Saxon origin, indicating direction or tendency to or from a point.
  • noun The act of keeping guard; a position or state of watchfulness against surprise, danger, or harm; guard; watch: as, to keep watch and ward. See watch.
  • noun A body of persons whose duty it is to guard, protect, or defend; the watch; a defensive force; garrison.
  • noun Means of guarding; defense; protection; preservation.
  • noun The outworks of a castle.
  • noun A guarded or defensive motion or position in fencing, or the like; a turning aside or intercepting of a blow, thrust, etc.
  • noun The state of being under a guard; confinement under a guard, warder, or keeper; custody; confinement; jail.
  • noun Guardianship; control or care of a minor.
  • noun The state of being under the care, control, or protection of a guardian; the condition of being under guardianship.
  • noun One who or that which is guarded; specifically, a minor or person under guardianship.
  • noun In United States law, a minor for whom a guardian is appointed.
  • noun A division.
  • noun A division of an army; a brigade, battalion, or regiment.
  • noun A certain division, section, or quarter of a town or city, such as is under the charge of an alderman, or as is constituted for the convenient transaction of local public business throngh committees appointed by the inhabitants, or merely for the purposes of elections.
  • noun A territorial division of some counties in Great Britain, as Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire in Scotland, and Northumberland and Cumberland in the north of England.
  • noun The division of a forest.
  • noun One of the apartments into which a hospital is divided: as, a fever ward; a convalescent ward.
  • noun A curved ridge of metal inside a lock, forming an obstacle to the passage of a key which has not a corresponding notch; also, the notch or slot in the web or bit of a key into which such a ridge fits when the key is applied.


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

[Middle English, action of guarding, from Old English weard, a watching, protection; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English weard (masc.), from Proto-Germanic *warduz. Cognate with German Wart.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Old English noun weard and verb weardian, from West Proto-Germanic *wardo-, an extension of Germanic stem *wara- "attentive" (English wary, beware), from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (“to cover”). Cognate with German Warte ("watchtower"), warten ("wait for"); English guard is a parallel form which came via Old French.


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