From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Ward \Ward\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Warded; p. pr. & vb. n.
   Warding.] [OE. wardien, AS. weardian to keep, protect; akin
   to OS. ward?n to watch, take care, OFries. wardia, OHG.
   wart?n, G. warten to wait, wait on, attend to, Icel. var?a to
   guarantee defend, Sw. v[*a]rda to guard, to watch; cf. OF.
   warder, of German origin. See Ward, n., and cf. Award,
   Guard, Reward.]
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   1. To keep in safety; to watch; to guard; formerly, in a
      specific sense, to guard during the day time.
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            Whose gates he found fast shut, no living wight
            To ward the same.                     --Spenser.
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   2. To defend; to protect.
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            Tell him it was a hand that warded him
            From thousand dangers.                --Shak.
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   3. To defend by walls, fortifications, etc. [Obs.]
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   4. To fend off; to repel; to turn aside, as anything
      mischievous that approaches; -- usually followed by off.
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            Now wards a felling blow, now strikes again.
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            The pointed javelin warded off his rage. --Addison.
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            It instructs the scholar in the various methods of
            warding off the force of objections.  --I. Watts.
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