- The definition of a ward is a wing of a hospital, a division of a prison, or a person, especially a child, who is dependent upon the care and support of an appointed guardian.
- An example of a ward is the children's wing of the hospital.
- An example of ward is a child who is in foster care.
A ward in a hospital.
- to turn aside; fend off; parry: usually with off
- Archaic to keep watch over; guard; protect
Origin of wardMiddle English warden ; from Old English weardian, to protect, guard, akin to Old High German warten, to wait (see guard): eastern; English form and sense influenced, influence by Norman French warder, to protect, keep (for Old French garder)
- the act of guarding
- the state of being under guard
- Now Rare guardianship, as of a person of unsound mind or a child
- Now Rare the condition of being under the control of a guardian; wardship
- a child or legally incompetent person placed under the care of a guardian or court
- any person under another's protection or care
- each of the parts or divisions of a jail or prison
- a room or division of a hospital set apart for a specific class or group of patients: a maternity ward
- a district or division of a city or town, for purposes of administration, representation, voting, etc.
- ☆ Mormon Ch. a local unit presided over by a bishop and two counselors
- a means of defense or protection
- a defensive posture, position, or motion, as in fencing
- an open space enclosed by the walls of a castle or fortification
- Archaic a garrison; the guard or watch
- a projecting ridge in a keyhole or lock face that allows only the right key to enter
- the notch in a key that matches this ridge
Origin of wardME < OE weard
- Ward, Artemus (pseud. of Charles Farrar Browne) 1834-67; U.S. humorist
- Ward, Mrs. Humphry (born Mary Augusta Arnold) 1851-1920; Brit. novelist, born in Tasmania
- in a (specified) direction: inward
- in a (specified) direction: downward
Origin of -wardMiddle English -werd ; from Old English -weard ; from base of weorthan, to become: see worth
- a. A room in a hospital usually holding six or more patients.b. A division in a hospital for the care of a particular group of patients: a maternity ward.
- a. A division of a city or town, especially an electoral district, for administrative and representative purposes.b. A district of some English and Scottish counties corresponding roughly to the hundred or the wapentake.
- One of the divisions of a penal institution, such as a prison.
- An open court or area of a castle or fortification enclosed by walls.
- a. Law A minor or a person deemed legally incompetent.b. A person under the protection or care of another.
- Archaic a. The act of guarding or protecting; guardianship.b. The act of keeping watch or being a lookout.c. The state of being under guard; custody.
- A defensive movement or attitude, especially in fencing; a guard.
- a. The projecting ridge of a lock or keyhole that prevents the turning of a key other than the proper one.b. The notch cut into a key that corresponds to such a ridge.
transitive verbward·ed, ward·ing, wards Archaic
Origin of wardMiddle English, action of guarding, from Old English weard, a watching, protection; see wer-3 in Indo-European roots.
- a. In a specified direction in time or space: downward.b. Toward a specified place or position: skyward.
- a. Occurring or situated in a specified direction: leftward.b. Having a direction toward a specified place or position: landward.
Origin of -wardMiddle English, from Old English -weard; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
From Middle English ward, from Old English weard (“keeper, watchman, guard, guardian, protector; lord, king; possessor”), from Proto-Germanic *warduz (“guard, keeper”), from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (“to heed, defend”). Cognate with German Wart.
- Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)
- The assieged castle's ward / Their steadfast stands did mightily maintain.
- John Dryden (1631-1700)
- For want of other ward, / He lifted up his hand, his front to guard.
- The action of a watchman; monitoring, surveillance (usually in phrases keep ward etc.).
- Guardianship, especially of a child or prisoner.
- An enchantment or spell placed over a designated area, or a social unit, that prevents any tresspasser from entering, approaching and/or even from being able to locate said-protected premises
- (historical, Scots law) Land tenure through military service.
- (fencing) A guarding or defensive motion or position.
- (archaic) An area of a castle, corresponding to a circuit of the walls.
- A section or subdivision of a prison.
- An administrative division of a borough, city or council.
- On our last visit to Tokyo, we went to Chiyoda ward and visited the Emperor's palace.
- (UK) A division of a forest.
- (Mormonism) A subdivision of the LDS Church, smaller than and part of a stake, but larger than a branch.
- A room in a hospital where patients reside.
- A minor looked after by a guardian.
- After the trial, little Robert was declared a ward of the state.
From Middle English ward, warde, from Old English weard (“watching, ward, protection, guardianship; advance post; waiting for, lurking, ambuscade”), from Proto-Germanic *wardō (“protection, attention, keeping”), 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.
(third-person singular simple present wards, present participle warding, simple past and past participle warded)
From Middle English warden, from Old English weardian (“to watch, guard, keep, protect, preserve; hold, possess, occupy, inhabit; rule, govern”), from Proto-Germanic *wardōną (“to guard”), from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (“to heed, defend”).
ward - Legal Definition
- A person for whom a guardian has legal responsibility, or one over whose property a guardian has responsibility. Title to legal property remains with the ward, although he or she may not enter into any contracts involving same.
- A division of a town for electoral or educational purposes.