verb (used with object)
- to keep safe from harm or danger; protect; watch over: to guard the ruler.
- to keep under close watch in order to prevent escape, misconduct, etc.: to guard a prisoner.
- to keep under control or restraint as a matter of caution or prudence: to guard one’s temper.
- to provide or equip with some safeguard or protective appliance, as to prevent loss, injury, etc.
- Sports. to position oneself so as to obstruct or impede the movement or progress of (an opponent on offense): The linebacker moved to his right to guard the end going out for a pass.
- Chess. to protect (a piece or a square) by placing a piece in a supportive or defensive position relative to it.
verb (used without object)
- to take precautions (usually followed by against): to guard against errors.
- to give protection; keep watch; be watchful.
- a person or group of persons that guards, protects, or keeps a protective or restraining watch.
- a person who keeps watch over prisoners or others under restraint.
- a body of people, especially soldiers, charged with guarding a place from disturbance, theft, fire, etc.
- a close watch, as over a prisoner or other person under restraint: to be kept under guard.
- a device, appliance, or attachment that prevents injury, loss, etc.
- something intended or serving to guard or protect; safeguard: insurance as a guard against disasters.
- a posture of defense or readiness, as in fencing, boxing, or bayonet drill.
- either of the linemen stationed between a tackle and the center.
- the position played by this lineman.
- Basketball. either of the players stationed in the backcourt.
- Chess. a piece that supports or defends another.
- Cards. a low card that is held with a high card of the same suit and that enables the holder to save the high card for a later trick.
- British. a railroad conductor.
- Guards, the name of certain bodies of troops in the British army.
- off guard, unprepared; unwary: The blow from behind caught him off guard.Also off one’s guard.
- on guard, vigilant; wary: on guard against dishonest merchants.Also on one’s guard.
- stand guard over, to watch over; protect: The dog stood guard over his wounded master.
- to watch over or shield (a person or thing) from danger or harm; protect
- to keep watch over (a prisoner or other potentially dangerous person or thing), as to prevent escape
- (tr) to controlto guard one’s tongue
- (intr usually foll by against) to take precautions
- to control entrance and exit through (a gate, door, etc)
- (tr) to provide (machinery, etc) with a device to protect the operator
- chess cardsto protect or cover (a chess man or card) with another
- curling bowlsto protect or cover (a stone or bowl) by placing one’s own stone or bowl between it and another player
- (tr) archaic to accompany as a guard
- a person or group who keeps a protecting, supervising, or restraining watch or control over people, such as prisoners, things, etcRelated adjective: custodial
- a person or group of people, such as soldiers, who form a ceremonial escortguard of honour
- British the official in charge of a train
- the act or duty of protecting, restraining, or supervising
- (as modifier)guard duty
- Irish another word for garda
- a device, part, or attachment on an object, such as a weapon or machine tool, designed to protect the user against injury, as on the hilt of a sword or the trigger of a firearm
- anything that provides or is intended to provide protectiona guard against infection
- another name for safety chain
- a long neck chain often holding a chatelaine
- See guard ring
- sport an article of light tough material worn to protect any of various parts of the body
- the position of the two players in a team who play furthest from the basket
- a player in this position
- the posture of defence or readiness in fencing, boxing, cricket, etc
- take guard cricket (of a batsman) to choose a position in front of the wicket to receive the bowling, esp by requesting the umpire to indicate his position relative to the stumps
- give guard cricket (of an umpire) to indicate such a position to a batsman
- off one’s guard having one’s defences down; unprepared
- on one’s guard prepared to face danger, difficulties, etc
- stand guard (of a military sentry, etc) to keep watch
- mount guard
- (of a sentry) to begin to keep watch
- (with over)to take up a protective or defensive stance (over something)
n.early 15c., “one who keeps watch,” from Middle French garde “guardian, warden, keeper; watching, keeping, custody,” from Old French garder “to keep, maintain, preserve, protect” (corresponding to Old North French warder, see gu-), from Frankish *wardon, from Proto-Germanic *wardo- “to guard” (see ward (v.)). Abstract or collective sense of “a keeping, a custody” (as in bodyguard) also is from early 15c. Sword-play and fisticuffs sense is from 1590s. Guard-rail attested from 1860. v.mid-15c., from guard (n.) or from Old French garder “to keep watch over, guard, protect.” Related: Guarded; guarding. see off guard; stand guard.