ward

[wawrd]
||

noun

verb (used with object)


Origin of ward

before 900; (noun) Middle English warde, Old English weard; (v.) Middle English warden, Old English weardian; cognate with Middle Dutch waerden, German warten; cf. guard
Related formsward·less, adjective

Synonyms for ward

Ward

[wawrd]

noun

(Aaron) Montgomery,1843–1913, U.S. merchant and mail-order retailer.
Ar·te·mas [ahr-tuh-muh s] /ˈɑr tə məs/, 1727–1800, American general in the American Revolution.
Ar·te·mus [ahr-tuh-muh s] /ˈɑr tə məs/, Charles Farrar Browne, 1834–67, U.S. humorist.
BarbaraBaroness Jackson of Lodsworth, 1914–81, English economist and author.
Mrs. HumphryMary Augusta Arnold, 1851–1920, English novelist, born in Tasmania.
Sir Joseph George,1856–1930, New Zealand statesman, born in Australia: prime minister 1906–12, 1928–30.
Lester Frank,1841–1913, U.S. sociologist.
NathanielTheodore de la Guard, 1578?–1652, English clergyman, lawyer, and author in America.
a male given name.

-ward

a native English suffix denoting spatial or temporal direction, as specified by the initial element: toward; seaward; afterward; backward.
Also -wards.

Origin of -ward

Middle English; Old English -weard towards; cognate with German -wärts; akin to Latin vertere to turn (see verse)

Usage note

Both -ward and -wards occur in such words as backward, forward, upward, and toward. The -ward form is by far the more common in edited American English writing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for ward

Contemporary Examples of ward

Historical Examples of ward

  • "Miss Ward's case has not yet been settled," she said slowly.

  • But are you quite certain that you are acting wisely, Miss Ward?

  • Small as the incident was, it marked a change in Sidney's position in the ward.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • She was back in the hospital again, this time in the children's ward.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The ward sat up, remembered that it was not the Sabbath, smiled across from bed to bed.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart


British Dictionary definitions for ward

ward

noun

(in many countries) a district into which a city, town, parish, or other area is divided for administration, election of representatives, etc
a room in a hospital, esp one for patients requiring similar kinds of carea maternity ward
one of the divisions of a prison
an open space enclosed within the walls of a castle
law
  1. Also called: ward of courta person, esp a minor or one legally incapable of managing his own affairs, placed under the control or protection of a guardian or of a court
  2. guardianship, as of a minor or legally incompetent person
the state of being under guard or in custody
a person who is under the protection or in the custody of another
a means of protection
  1. an internal ridge or bar in a lock that prevents an incorrectly cut key from turning
  2. a corresponding groove cut in a key
a less common word for warden 1

verb

(tr) archaic to guard or protect
See also ward off
Derived Formswardless, adjective

Word Origin for ward

Old English weard protector; related to Old High German wart, Old Saxon ward, Old Norse vorthr. See guard

Ward

noun

Dame Barbara (Mary), Baroness Jackson. 1914–81, British economist, environmentalist, and writer. Her books include Spaceship Earth (1966)
Mrs Humphry, married name of Mary Augusta Arnold. 1851–1920, English novelist. Her novels include Robert Elsmere (1888) and The Case of Richard Meynell (1911)
Sir Joseph George. 1856–1930, New Zealand statesman; prime minister of New Zealand (1906–12; 1928–30)

-ward

suffix

(forming adjectives) indicating direction towardsa backward step; heavenward progress
(forming adverbs) a variant and the usual US and Canadian form of -wards

Word Origin for -ward

Old English -weard towards
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

Word Origin and History for ward
n.

Old English weard "a guarding, a watchman, a sentry," from West Germanic *wardo (cf. Old Saxon ward, Old Norse vörðr, Old High German wart). Used for administrative districts (at first in the sense of guardianship) from late 14c.; of hospital divisions from 1749. Meaning "minor under control of a guardian" is from early 15c. Ward-heeler is 1890, from heeler "loafer, one on the lookout for shady work" (1870s).

v.

Old English weardian "to keep guard," from Proto-Germanic *wardojan- (cf. Old Saxon wardon, Old Norse varða "to guard," Old Frisian wardia, Middle Dutch waerden "to take care of," Old High German warten "to guard, look out for, expect," German warten "to wait, wait on, nurse, tend"), from *wardo- (see ward (n.)). French garder, Italian guardare, Spanish guardar are Germanic loan-words. Meaning "to parry, to fend off" (now usually with off) is recorded from 1570s. Related: Warded; warding.

-ward

adverbial suffix expressing direction, Old English -weard "toward," literally "turned toward," sometimes -weardes, with genitive singular ending of neuter adjectives, from Proto-Germanic *warth (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian -ward, Old Norse -verðr), variant of PIE *wert- "to turn, wind," from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). The original notion is of "turned toward."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ward in Medicine

ward

[wôrd]

n.

A room in a hospital usually holding six or more patients.
A division in a hospital for the care of a particular group of patients.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.