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Line breaks: ward
Pronunciation: /wɔːd

Definition of ward in English:


1A separate room in a hospital, typically one allocated to a particular type of patient: a children’s ward
More example sentences
  • Stepping back a generation, doctors were familiar with hospital wards full of patients succumbing to sepsis in the pre-penicillin era.
  • Yarmouk Hospital has one of the busiest emergency rooms and obstetrics wards in Baghdad.
  • Randomised controlled trial of usual care compared with intervention delivered on hospital wards by cardiac rehabilitation nurses.
room, compartment, department, unit, area
2An administrative division of a city or borough that typically elects and is represented by a councillor or councillors: the second most marginal ward in Westminster
More example sentences
  • Issues raised will be discussed by the relief road working group, made up of county councillors representing local wards, and the county council will enforce the changes.
  • We called the offices of city councillors representing various downtown wards, and their staff readily acknowledged the litter problem.
  • Candidates for election will run in electoral districts, similar to city councillors' wards.
district, constituency, division, quarter, zone, parish, community, department, canton
3A child or young person under the care and control of a guardian appointed by their parents or a court: for the last three years, the boy has been my ward
More example sentences
  • Open sea and clear skies was all very well when teaching a new crewmember the ropes and they never lost their fascination with the captain's young ward.
dependant, charge, protégé, pupil, trainee, apprentice;
3.1 [mass noun] archaic The state of being in the care of a guardian: the ward and care of the Crown
4 (usually wards) Any of the internal ridges or bars in a lock which prevent the turning of any key which does not have grooves of corresponding form or size.
4.1The grooves in the bit of a key that correspond to the wards in a lock.
5 [mass noun] archaic The action of keeping a lookout for danger: I saw them keeping ward at one of those huge gates
6 historical An area of ground enclosed by the encircling walls of a fortress or castle.
Example sentences
  • Near to this original house, on a chalk hill, William I built a castle, with a ward either side of a low motte.
  • The first step was the walling of the early Norman ring work but today only little part of this work survives on the north-west walls of the upper ward, the section facing the outer bailey was demolished.
  • The inner ward is a square enclosure with circular angle towers, with one bigger and separated by the walls forming the keep.


[with object] Back to top  
1Admit (a patient) to a hospital ward: the last of the accident victims was warded
More example sentences
  • Both are warded at Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
  • Gomez is warded at Port-of-Spain General Hospital in a stable condition.
  • One of Richardson's alleged accomplices, who was warded under police guard at the San Fernando General Hospital, was expected to face additional charges late yesterday.
admit to hospital, admit, take in, let in, accept, receive, give entry to
2 archaic Guard; protect: it was his duty to ward the king


Old English weard (in sense 5 of the noun, also 'body of guards'), weardian 'keep safe, guard', of Germanic origin; reinforced in Middle English by Old Northern French warde (noun), warder (verb) 'guard'.


ward of court

A child or young person for whom a guardian has been appointed by the Court of Chancery or who has become directly subject to the authority of that court.
Example sentences
  • At one time it was believed that the mere publication of information about a ward of court was contempt of court.
  • What was sought to be done was to make them wards of court and then obtain orders in their welfare which would contradict the steps the Minister had taken.
  • The commission recommends making a person ineligible to serve as a trustee if they are under 18, a ward of court, adjudicated bankrupt, restricted from being a director of a company, or convicted of a crime.

Phrasal verbs

ward someone/thing off

Prevent someone or something from harming or affecting one: she put up a hand as if to ward him off
More example sentences
  • The archetypal souvenirs are ceramic tiles featuring the Evil Eye - a Turkish good luck charm designed to ward off evil spirits.
  • In areas where apples were grown, it evolved into a ritual in which chants and dances were used to ward off evil spirits which it was believed would harm the trees.
  • The veil was also believed to magically have the power to ward off surrounding evils that wish to harm the bride.
informal send packing
parry, avert, deflect, block, turn aside, defend oneself against, guard against, evade, avoid, dodge



Example sentences
  • A supervision order, while less intrusive than Crown wardship would not adequately protect the children from either the father or the mother for reasons already discussed under issue No. 1.
  • Usually granted in connection with wardships, the king's rights over the marriage of his tenants-in-chief had longer term implications for Edward III's ‘new nobility.’
  • Early in life he was placed under the wardship of a tutor in Marseilles.

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