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guard

Syllabification: guard
Pronunciation: /ɡärd
 
/

Definition of guard in English:

verb

[with object]
1Watch over in order to protect or control: they were sent to guard villagers from attack by bandits the gates were guarded by uniformed soldiers
More example sentences
  • White's Queen is placed on a safe square where it guards the c-pawn and stares ravenously at Black's pawn on e5.
  • He kept everybody safe and guarded all of us; making sure that we were always out of harm's way.
  • The moon guarded and watched over her children, and Raine's group was no exception.
Synonyms
secured, secure, protected, shielded, sentineled, manned, policed
1.1Watch over (someone) to prevent them escaping: his task was to help guard Japanese soldiers
More example sentences
  • It's believed the soldiers will guard the control tower, the large fuel tanks and parts of the runway at certain times.
  • US soldiers guarding the gate usually stand about 20 yards from the road behind coils of barbed wire and concrete barriers.
  • He was not surprised when he saw soldiers guarding the gates.
Synonyms
protect, stand guard over, watch over, keep an eye on;
cover, patrol, police, defend, shield, safeguard, keep safe, secure
1.2Watch over (someone) to prevent them from escaping: police officers were guarding inmates who could not be accommodated in prison
More example sentences
  • Since I was one of the few women, and the only unarmed prisoner, I was guarded in a more lax manner than the others.
  • Seventy percent of those who guard women prisoners are men.
  • We do have people contracted to guard prisoners.
Synonyms
keep under surveillance, keep under guard, keep watch over, surveil, mind
1.3 [no object] (guard against) Take precautions against: farmers must guard against sudden changes in the market
More example sentences
  • But all such events were examples of the very sort of thing which the defendant's servant ought reasonably to have foreseen and to have guarded against by taking appropriate precautions.
  • Instead, we must be vigilant in guarding against the distasteful practice of having unfavourable preconceived notions against individuals based on their origin.
  • Under-achievement in gifted children is a major area of research study and as a high school teacher Bernadette thinks this is a problem that must be guarded against, especially in sixteen or seventeen year olds.
Synonyms
beware of, keep watch for, be alert to, keep an eye out for, be on the lookout for, be on the alert for
1.4Protect against damage or harm: the company fiercely guarded its independence
More example sentences
  • As they were divided into clans and tribes, they have fiercely guarded their independence, preserving what has since become a very diverse and fascinating culture.
  • Naturally more recently independent States wish to do the same and thus fiercely guard their Westphalian sovereignty.
  • The Kodavas have fiercely guarded their tradition and customs as well as their uniqueness.
1.5 Basketball Stay close to (an opponent) in order to prevent a good shot, pass, or drive.
Example sentences
  • His stance is not quite as low as it would be guarding the ball handler, but he is still down and ready to move.
  • Sometimes you'll have your back slightly turned to guard the ball.
  • The closer to the basket your player is, the closer you should guard them.

noun

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1A person who keeps watch, especially a soldier or other person formally assigned to protect a person or to control access to a place: a security guard [as modifier]: he distracted the soldier on guard duty
More example sentences
  • Also, we will assign two guards to watch your every move on this establishment.
  • I set up a guard duty to watch for trouble and set to work deciphering the messages that would explain the runes.
  • I am protected by guards, have access to cars, the entire secure compound, you name it.
Synonyms
protector, defender, guardian;
lookout, watch;
garrison;
1.1 [treated as singular or plural] A body of soldiers serving to protect a place or person: the hound belonged to a member of the castle’s guard
More example sentences
  • The much-awaited change of guard in the military would follow the latest TNI reshuffle which affected 118 officers.
  • There is a change of guard at the top of the main reconstruction body.
  • A military honor guard was fired for saying ‘God bless you’ as he handed the flag over at funerals.
1.2 (Guards) The household troops of the British army.
Example sentences
  • The first arrest was made in September when an officer in the Guards was arrested for enlisting men for the Pretender.
  • His father is a captain in the British Guards and his mother is the headmistress of a prep school in England.
  • However, when the Press contacted the Army to ask if there was any way she could still join them, the Guards pulled out all the stops.
1.3North American A prison warder.
Example sentences
  • But, as Wilkinson may or may not be aware, even prison guards tend to report high incidences of rape.
  • It probably was not obvious to the prison guards at the time either.
  • In May 1996, I entered the execution chamber with Robert and a team of prison guards.
Synonyms
warden, warder, keeper;
informal screw
archaic turnkey
1.4British An official who rides on and is in general charge of a train.
Example sentences
  • These were the employees who operated the railway: the station staff, the signalmen, the shunters and the guards on the trains.
  • Running staff, drivers of passenger and good trains, guards and locomotive inspectors are involved in the dispute.
  • Thousands of rail guards at train companies across the country are to be balloted on strikes in a long-running row over their safety role.
1.5 Football Each of two offensive players positioned either side of the center.
Example sentences
  • He'll be looking at cornerbacks, defensive tackles, outside linebackers, guards and receivers.
  • If this play is well-executed, the linebackers get caught pursuing the flow of the guards and running back to the right.
  • A guard, tight end or running back can help Jones, giving him an advantage in passing situations.
1.6 Basketball Each of two backcourt players chiefly responsible for running the team’s offense.
Example sentences
  • He was quick enough to disrupt opposing guards anywhere on the floor while also using his size and strength to stop them.
  • It involves a high post player and both guards, or a medium post man and a guard and forward, on the ball side of the floor.
  • There are times it will be necessary for the two guards to switch these responsibilities.
2A device worn or fitted to prevent injury or damage: a retractable blade guard
More example sentences
  • All the trees would be surrounded by guards to prevent damage from sheep and other animals.
  • To prevent tooth injuries, children should wear facemasks and mouth guards while playing sports.
  • The guard also prevents damage if the car bottoms-out over ruts or dips in the road.
Synonyms
safety guard, safety device, protective device, shield, screen, fender;
bumper, buffer
2.1A chain attached to a watch or bracelet to prevent loss.
3A defensive posture adopted in a boxing, fencing, or martial arts contest or in a fight: this kick can curl around an otherwise effective guard
More example sentences
  • He used good defensive skills and a nice guard on the ropes to set up short hooks with both hands when Telesco got in close.
  • When Chi did open up, his work was either missing or hitting gloves and Brodie maintained good movement and a tight guard for the opening minute or so.
  • Taking turns with your partner drilling the swinging armbar from the guard is an example of this sort of drill.
3.1A state of caution, vigilance, or preparedness against adverse circumstances: he let his guard slip enough to make some unwise comments
More example sentences
  • The irrational fanatics might not heed to reason, but humanitarians must not become fatalistic and drop the guard of eternal vigilance.
  • Defenders of civil rights need to mount a vigilant guard.
  • The killers, if they are still alive, must be brought to justice and we have no alternative but to keep our guard up against the likelihood that there are others plotting to repeat the assaults.
Synonyms
vigilance, vigil, watch, surveillance, watchfulness, caution, heed, attention, care, wariness

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'care, custody'): from Old French garde (noun), garder (verb), of West Germanic origin. Compare with ward.

Phrases

keep (or stand) guard

1
Act as a guard.
Example sentences
  • Officers did not reveal whether any travel documents were found at the flat, where armed police today stood guard.
  • All day, U.S. choppers circled overhead, while on the ground, Iraqi police and soldiers stood guard.
  • Yesterday uniformed police officers stood guard outside the premises while forensic experts carried out a detailed search inside the premises.

lower (or let down) one's guard

2
Relax one’s defensive posture, leaving oneself vulnerable to attack: if you lower your guard or take a step backward, I will throw in the towel
More example sentences
  • You'll lower your guard, and that's when you're most vulnerable.
  • The troops should continue doing their jobs, without making a fuss about the attacks, though of course they must not lower their guard.
  • Dravid also cautioned his team-mates not to take Pakistan lightly and lower their guard in the crucial match.
2.1Reduce one’s level of vigilance or caution: she was not ready to let down her guard and confide in him
More example sentences
  • But when you find yourself with that most precious of commodities, free time, you are likely to lower your guard.
  • Settling into a routine can cause you to lower your guard and stray from basic procedures.
  • An additional reason for caution is that sometimes people pose as prospective employers in order to get former bosses or educators to lower their guard and reveal sensitive information that they use improperly.

off guard

3
Unprepared for some surprise or difficulty: the government was caught off guard by the unexpected announcement
More example sentences
  • As we have already seen the fire can spread very rapidly and may catch the unwary off guard.
  • If I could catch him off guard it would give me just the edge I needed to send him crying into comic oblivion.
  • The sheer size of the dish caught me a little off guard at first, but senses restored, I found the rich pate to be delightful.
Synonyms
unprepared, unready, inattentive, unwary, with one's defenses down, cold, unsuspecting
informal napping, asleep at the wheel

on guard

4
On duty to protect or defend something.
Example sentences
  • Some of the men had slipped away from the forward trenches, presumably those who were not actually meant to be on guard or patrol duty.
  • There would be no one on guard to protect the town from the Bandits.
  • Things soured after a six-year-old girl hurt herself when the dog on guard chased her in a bid to protect its family.
(also on one's guard)4.1 Prepared for any contingency; vigilant: we must be on guard against such temptation
More example sentences
  • Growing up in the UK, it took me twenty-two long years to feel secure enough to adopt the feminist label, and even then I was always on my guard, prepared for the usual assumption that I was a bit odd.
  • It has alerted us to be continually on our guard hence security at airports and elsewhere.
  • I find myself constantly on my guard while shopping for fear of muggers, on foot or cycle.
Synonyms

put up one's guard

5
Adopt a defensive posture.
Example sentences
  • As soon as he enters the room, the old woman begins to be suspicious and puts up her guard.
  • I put up my guard, but there wasn't anything wrong with playing along!
  • It was the times when he reminded her of the Tyler she knew in high school that made her put up her guard.

under guard

6
Being guarded: he was held in an empty stable under guard
More example sentences
  • While the Stafford family were not home at the time, the staff, including the butler, were held under guard while the men emptied the gun room, taking three rifles, fifteen shotguns and a large amount of ammunition.
  • He's been whisked away to an obscure place he didn't know he was going to, he had no choice in the matter, he can't leave, he is being held under guard by French and African soldiers, and he can't even use the phone.
  • Armed police turned up and he was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary by ambulance where he was kept under guard.

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