- a person, especially a minor, who has been legally placed under the care of a guardian or a court.
- the state of being under the care or control of a legal guardian.
- guardianship over a minor or some other person legally incapable of managing his or her own affairs.
verb (used with object)
Origin of ward
Synonyms for ward
Related Words for ward offprohibit, thwart, forbid, restrict, hamper, halt, forestall, avoid, restrain, hinder, avert, stop, impede, inhibit, bar, preclude, counter, limit, block, prevent
- 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
- guardianship, as of a minor or legally incompetent person
- an internal ridge or bar in a lock that prevents an incorrectly cut key from turning
- a corresponding groove cut in a key
Word Origin for ward
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.
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).
Turn aside, parry, as in He tried to ward off her blows. [Second half of 1500s]
Try to prevent, avert, as in She took vitamin C to ward off a cold. [Mid-1700s]