[ gahrd ]
/ gɑrd /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to take precautions (usually followed by against): to guard against errors.
to give protection; keep watch; be watchful.


Idioms for guard

Origin of guard

1375–1425; late Middle English garde guardianship < Old French g(u)arde, noun derivative of g(u)arder (v.) < Germanic; see ward


synonym study for guard

1. See defend. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for off guard

/ (ɡɑːd) /



Derived forms of guard

guardable, adjectiveguarder, nounguardless, adjectiveguardlike, adjective

Word Origin for guard

C15: from Old French garde, from garder to protect, of Germanic origin; compare Spanish guardar; see ward
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with off guard (1 of 2)

off guard

Also, off one's guard. Not watchful, easily surprised. It is often put as catch (or be caught) off guard, meaning “take (or be taken) by surprise.” For example, The securities analyst was caught off guard by that financial report, or With any luck the boss will be off guard when I come in late. [Late 1600s] The antonym, on guard or on one's guard, meaning “watchful or prepared, especially to defend oneself,” was first recorded in 1577. For example, In this crowd we must be on guard against pickpockets, or I'm always on my guard when I'm asked how I voted.

Idioms and Phrases with off guard (2 of 2)


see off guard; stand guard.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.