Etymology: Middle English garde, from Anglo-French garde, guarde, warde, from garder, guarder, warder, to guard, defend, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wartēn to watch, take care — more at ward
Date: 15th century
1. one assigned to protect or oversee another: as
a. a person or a body of persons on sentinel duty
b. plural troops attached to the person of the sovereign
c. British conductor b
a. a defensive state or attitude <asked him out when his guard was down> b. a defensive position (as in boxing) 3. a. the act or duty of protecting or defending b. the state of being protected ; protection 4. a protective or safety device; specifically a device for protecting a machine part or the operator of a machine 5. archaic precaution 6. a. a position or player next to the center in a football line b. a player stationed in the backcourt in basketball II. verb Date: 1500 transitive verb 1. to protect an edge of with an ornamental border 2. a. to protect from danger especially by watchful attention ; make secure <police guarding our cities> b. to stand at the entrance of as if on guard or as a barrier c. to tend to carefully ; preserve, protect <guarded their privacy> 3. archaic escort 4. a. to watch over so as to prevent escape, disclosure, or indiscretion b. to attempt to prevent (an opponent) from playing effectively or scoring intransitive verb to watch by way of caution or defense ; stand guard Synonyms: see defend • guarder noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.