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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.] [1913 Webster] 1. To keep in safety; to watch; to guard; formerly, in a specific sense, to guard during the day time. [1913 Webster] Whose gates he found fast shut, no living wight To ward the same. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. To defend; to protect. [1913 Webster] Tell him it was a hand that warded him From thousand dangers. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. To defend by walls, fortifications, etc. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 4. To fend off; to repel; to turn aside, as anything mischievous that approaches; -- usually followed by off. [1913 Webster] Now wards a felling blow, now strikes again. --Daniel. [1913 Webster] The pointed javelin warded off his rage. --Addison. [1913 Webster] It instructs the scholar in the various methods of warding off the force of objections. --I. Watts. [1913 Webster]