Off one's guard
Guard Guard, n. [OF. guarde, F. garde; of German origin; cf. OHG. wart, warto, one who watches, warta a watching, Goth. wardja watchman. See {Guard}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. One who, or that which, guards from injury, danger, exposure, or attack; defense; protection. [1913 Webster]

His greatness was no guard to bar heaven's shaft. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. A man, or body of men, stationed to protect or control a person or position; a watch; a sentinel. [1913 Webster]

The guard which kept the door of the king's house. --Kings xiv. 27. [1913 Webster]

3. One who has charge of a mail coach or a railway train; a conductor. [Eng.] [1913 Webster]

4. Any fixture or attachment designed to protect or secure against injury, soiling, or defacement, theft or loss; as: (a) That part of a sword hilt which protects the hand. (b) Ornamental lace or hem protecting the edge of a garment. (c) A chain or cord for fastening a watch to one's person or dress. (d) A fence or rail to prevent falling from the deck of a vessel. (e) An extension of the deck of a vessel beyond the hull; esp., in side-wheel steam vessels, the framework of strong timbers, which curves out on each side beyond the paddle wheel, and protects it and the shaft against collision. (f) A plate of metal, beneath the stock, or the lock frame, of a gun or pistol, having a loop, called a bow, to protect the trigger. (g) (Bookbinding) An interleaved strip at the back, as in a scrap book, to guard against its breaking when filled. [1913 Webster]

5. A posture of defense in fencing, and in bayonet and saber exercise. [1913 Webster]

6. An expression or admission intended to secure against objections or censure. [1913 Webster]

They have expressed themselves with as few guards and restrictions as I. --Atterbury. [1913 Webster]

7. Watch; heed; care; attention; as, to keep guard. [1913 Webster]

8. (Zo["o]l.) The fibrous sheath which covers the phragmacone of the Belemnites. [1913 Webster]

Note: Guard is often used adjectively or in combination; as, guard boat or guardboat; guardroom or guard room; guard duty. [1913 Webster]

{Advanced guard}, {Coast guard}, etc. See under {Advanced}, {Coast}, etc.

{Grand guard} (Mil.), one of the posts of the second line belonging to a system of advance posts of an army. --Mahan.

{Guard boat}. (a) A boat appointed to row the rounds among ships of war in a harbor, to see that their officers keep a good lookout. (b) A boat used by harbor authorities to enforce the observance of quarantine regulations.

{Guard cells} (Bot.), the bordering cells of stomates; they are crescent-shaped and contain chlorophyll.

{Guard chamber}, a guardroom.

{Guard detail} (Mil.), men from a company regiment etc., detailed for guard duty.

{Guard duty} (Mil.), the duty of watching patrolling, etc., performed by a sentinel or sentinels.

{Guard lock} (Engin.), a tide lock at the mouth of a dock or basin.

{Guard of honor} (Mil.), a guard appointed to receive or to accompany eminent persons.

{Guard rail} (Railroads), a rail placed on the inside of a main rail, on bridges, at switches, etc., as a safeguard against derailment.

{Guard ship}, a war vessel appointed to superintend the marine affairs in a harbor, and also, in the English service, to receive seamen till they can be distributed among their respective ships.

{Life guard} (Mil.), a body of select troops attending the person of a prince or high officer.

{Off one's guard}, in a careless state; inattentive; unsuspicious of danger.

{On guard}, serving in the capacity of a guard; doing duty as a guard or sentinel; watching.

{On one's guard}, in a watchful state; alert; vigilant.

{To mount guard} (Mil.), to go on duty as a guard or sentinel.

{To run the guard}, to pass the watch or sentinel without leave.

Syn: Defense; shield; protection; safeguard; convoy; escort; care; attention; watch; heed. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • off (one's) guard — idi off (one s) guard, unprepared; unwary …   From formal English to slang

  • off one's guard — off guard the explosion from the furnace room caught everyone off guard Syn: unprepared, unready, inattentive, unwary, with one s defenses down, cold, unsuspecting; informal napping, asleep at the wheel …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • off (one's) guard — UNPREPARED, unready, inattentive, unwary, with one s defences down, cold, unsuspecting; informal napping, asleep at the wheel, on the hop. → guard …   Useful english dictionary

  • off one's guard — adjective not prepared or vigilant the blow caught him napping caught in an off guard moment found him off his guard • Syn: ↑napping, ↑off guard, ↑off guard, ↑off his guard, ↑off her guard, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • On one's guard — Guard Guard, n. [OF. guarde, F. garde; of German origin; cf. OHG. wart, warto, one who watches, warta a watching, Goth. wardja watchman. See {Guard}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. One who, or that which, guards from injury, danger, exposure, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To keep one's hand in — Keep Keep (k[=e]p), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Kept} (k[e^]pt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Keeping}.] [OE. k[=e]pen, AS. c[=e]pan to keep, regard, desire, await, take, betake; cf. AS. copenere lover, OE. copnien to desire.] 1. To care; to desire. [Obs.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Over one's head — Over O ver ([=o] v[ e]r), prep. [AS. ofer; akin to D. over, G. [ u]ber, OHG. ubir, ubar, Dan. over, Sw. [ o]fver, Icel. yfir, Goth. ufar, L. super, Gr. ype r, Skr. upari. [root]199. Cf. {Above}, {Eaves}, {Hyper }, {Orlop}, {Super }, {Sovereign},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caught with one's pants down — adjective Caught off guard, unprepared, or in an embarrassing situation …   Wiktionary

  • Guard — Guard, n. [OF. guarde, F. garde; of German origin; cf. OHG. wart, warto, one who watches, warta a watching, Goth. wardja watchman. See {Guard}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. One who, or that which, guards from injury, danger, exposure, or attack;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Guard boat — Guard Guard, n. [OF. guarde, F. garde; of German origin; cf. OHG. wart, warto, one who watches, warta a watching, Goth. wardja watchman. See {Guard}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. One who, or that which, guards from injury, danger, exposure, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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