• On Guard
    On Guard
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v guard watch over or shield from danger or harm; protect "guard my possessions while I'm away"
    • v guard protect against a challenge or attack "Hold that position behind the trees!","Hold the bridge against the enemy's attacks"
    • v guard to keep watch over "there would be men guarding the horses"
    • v guard take precautions in order to avoid some unwanted consequence "guard against becoming too friendly with the staff","guard against infection"
    • n guard a position on a basketball team
    • n guard (American football) a position on the line of scrimmage "guards must be good blockers"
    • n guard the duty of serving as a sentry "he was on guard that night"
    • n guard a precautionary measure warding off impending danger or damage or injury etc. "he put an ice pack on the injury as a precaution","an insurance policy is a good safeguard","we let our guard down"
    • n guard a device designed to prevent injury or accidents
    • n guard a posture of defence in boxing or fencing "keep your guard up"
    • n guard a military unit serving to protect some place or person
    • n guard the person who plays that position on a football team "the left guard was injured on the play"
    • n guard a person who keeps watch over something or someone
    • n guard the person who plays the position of guard on a basketball team
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

See the Guards Shaking Dice for Our Money 253 See the Guards Shaking Dice for Our Money 253
Stern-lookin' guards a-watchin' over the coins Stern-lookin' guards a-watchin' over the coins
Two stone lions guard steps leading to the entrance Two stone lions guard steps leading to the entrance
Si Makes the Acquaintance of The Guard House 062 Si Makes the Acquaintance of The Guard House 062
Shorty Was There--with a Guard 217 Shorty Was There--with a Guard 217
Objects found at a 17th-century forge site at Jamestown: blacksmith’s tools, bar iron, a few incomplete items, sword guards, and slag. It appears that the forge was in operation as early as 1625 Objects found at a 17th-century forge site at Jamestown: blacksmith’s tools, bar iron, a few incomplete items, sword...
Guarding the Graveyard of the Deep Guarding the Graveyard of the Deep

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Pepper was sold as individual grains during the Elizabethan times. The guards at the London docks had to sew up their pockets so they would not steal any of the pepper
    • Guard A chain or cord for fastening a watch to one's person or dress.
    • Guard A fence or rail to prevent falling from the deck of a vessel.
    • Guard A man, or body of men, stationed to protect or control a person or position; a watch; a sentinel. "The guard which kept the door of the king's house."
    • Guard 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.
    • Guard A posture of defense in fencing, and in bayonet and saber exercise.
    • Guard An expression or admission intended to secure against objections or censure. "They have expressed themselves with as few guards and restrictions as I."
    • Guard 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.
    • Guard An interleaved strip at the back, as in a scrap book, to guard against its breaking when filled.
    • Guard Any fixture or attachment designed to protect or secure against injury, soiling, or defacement, theft or loss
    • Guard One who has charge of a mail coach or a railway train; a conductor.
    • Guard One who, or that which, guards from injury, danger, exposure, or attack; defense; protection. "His greatness was no guard to bar heaven's shaft."
    • Guard Ornamental lace or hem protecting the edge of a garment.
    • Guard That part of a sword hilt which protects the hand.
    • Guard (Zoöl) The fibrous sheath which covers the phragmacone of the Belemnites.
    • Guard To fasten by binding; to gird.
    • Guard To keep watch over, in order to prevent escape or restrain from acts of violence, or the like.
    • Guard To protect from danger; to secure against surprise, attack, or injury; to keep in safety; to defend; to shelter; to shield from surprise or attack; to protect by attendance; to accompany for protection; to care for. "For Heaven still guards the right."
    • Guard To protect the edge of, esp. with an ornamental border; hence, to face or ornament with lists, laces, etc. "The body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither.""The body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither."
    • v. i Guard gärd To watch by way of caution or defense; to be cautious; to be in a state or position of defense or safety; as, careful persons guard against mistakes.
    • Guard Watch; heed; care; attention; as, to keep guard .
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Vatican's Swiss Guard still wears a uniform designed by Michelangelo in the early 16th century.
    • guard To secure against injury of any kind in any manner; specifically, to protect by attendance; defend; keep in safety; accompany as a protection.
    • guard To provide or secure against objections, or the attacks of hostile criticism or malevolence.
    • guard To protect the edge of, especially by an ornamental border; hence, to adorn with lists, laces, or ornaments.
    • guard To fasten on a guard for the purpose of binding.
    • guard To insert guards between the leaves of (an intended guard-book).
    • guard Synonyms To shield, shelter, watch.
    • guard To watch by way of caution or defense; be cautious; be in a state of caution or defense.
    • n guard A state of readiness to oppose attack; a state of defense; in general, a state of protection against injury or impairment of any kind.
    • n guard Specifically, a state of caution or vigilance; attentive observation designed to prevent surprise or attack; watch; heed: as, to keep guard; to be on one's guard; to keep a careful guard over the tongue.
    • n guard One who or that which protects or keeps in safety; one who or that which secures against danger, attack, loss, or injury; one who keeps protecting watch.
    • n guard Specifically— A man or body of men occupied in preserving a person or place from attack or injury, or in preventing an escape; he or they whose business it is to defend, or to prevent attack or surprise: as, a body-guard; a prison guard.
    • n guard Anything that keeps off evil: as, modesty is the guard of innocence.
    • n guard That which secures against hostile criticism or censure; a protection against malevolent or ignorant attacks upon one's reputation, opinions, etc.
    • n guard In fencing or boxing, a posture of passive defense; the arms or weapon in such a posture: as, to beat down one's guard.
    • n guard In the game of cricket, the position of the bat for most effectually defending the wicket.
    • n guard In Great Britain, a person who has charge of a mail-coach or a railway-train; a conductor; in the United States, a brakeman or gatekeeper on an elevated railroad.
    • n guard plural In cricket, the pads or protectors worn on the legs to prevent injury from swiftly thrown balls.
    • n guard Any part, appliance, or attachment designed or serving to protect or secure against harmful contact, injury, loss, or detriment of any kind. That part of the hilt of a sword which protects the hand. Swords of antiquity and of the middle ages usually had the cross-guard. In the sixteenth century, when the use of steel gloves was abandoned and the sword became the chief weapon of persons not armed for war, the guard was made more elaborate by the addition of the pas d'ane. Toward the end of that century the knuckle-bow was added, some swords combining these two additions with two straight quillons of which the cross-guard is formed. (See cut under hilt.) Another guard of this epoch was the shell-guard. The basket-hilt came into use toward the close of the sixteenth century and lasted through the seventeenth. (See cut under claymore.) In the second half of the seventeenth century the guard became more simple, and consisted chiefly of a knuckle-bow, the shell of the guard when still used being reduced to a very small saucer-shaped plate surrounding the blade. The knuckle-bow guard continued in use throughout the eighteenth century in swords worn with civil costume, as well as in most of those used in war, and is still the guard of the modern sword and saber, some cavalry sabers and the like having this knuckle-guard so expanded laterally as to approach the form of the basket-hilt.
    • n guard A chain or cord for fastening a watch, brooch, or bracelet to the dress of the wearer.
    • n guard Nautical, the railing of the promenade-deck of a steamer, intended to prevent persons from falling overboard; also, a widening of the deck of a side-wheel steamer by a framework of strong timbers which curve out on each side to the paddle-wheels, and protect them against collision with wharfs and boats.
    • n guard A metal frame placed over a nut in an engine, to prevent it from being jarred off.
    • n guard One of the fingers in a harvester in which the knives of the cutter-bar move.
    • n guard In bookbinding: A reinforcing slip placed between the leaves of a blank book designed for an album or a scrap-book. A narrow strip or narrow strips of paper sewed near the back of a book, made for inserted plates, with intent to keep the book flat, and prevent it from being thicker at the fore edge than at the back.
    • n guard A tide-lock between a dock and a river.
    • n guard The guard-plate of the door that closes the opening of a cupola-furnace.
    • n guard A supplementary safetyrail of heavy timber placed beside a rail in a railway, at a switch or upon a bridge.
    • n guard In a vehicle, a hood secured to the axle or bolster, and extending over the nave or hub, to protect the axle from mud.
    • n guard A fender.
    • n guard A bar or bars placed across a window.
    • n guard A guard-ring.
    • n guard An iron strap formed into a hoop or hook, attached to the insulator of a telegraph-line to prevent the wire from falling if the insulator is broken.
    • n guard In Cephalopoda, the rostrum, a calcareous shell guarding the apex of the phragmacone, as of a belemnite. See cut under belemnite.
    • n guard A piece of strong leather to which is attached an iron plate, and which is secured by straps to the right leg of an artillery driver to protect it from injury by the carriage-pole.
    • n guard In fencing, in the attitude most advantageous for attack or defense. Rolando (ed. Forsyth), Modern Art of Fencing.
    • n guard In foot-ball, basket-ball, and similar games, a player occupying a certain position. In foot-ball there are two guards, who play on either side of the center rush: in basket-ball the guard prevents the opposing forward from throwing goals.
    • n guard In fortification, the keep of a castle; the lodging of the main guard.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Jean Marie Butler was the first woman graduate from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1980. She also was the first woman to graduate from any U.S. service academy.
    • v.t Guard gärd to ward, watch, or take care of: to protect from danger or attack: to protect the edge of, as by an ornamental border
    • v.i Guard to watch: to be wary
    • n Guard that which guards from danger: a man or body of men stationed to protect: one who has charge of a coach or railway-train: state of caution: posture of defence: part of the hilt of a sword: a watch-chain: :
    • adj Guard protecting
    • n Guard (pl.) troops attached to the person of a sovereign
    • n Guard (cricket) the pads which protect the legs from swift balls
    • ***


  • Christian Nevell Bovee
    “Wine is a treacherous friend who you must always be on guard for.”
  • William Butler Yeats
    “Those that I fight I do not hate, those that I guard I do not love.”
  • Arthur Schopenhauer
    “It is with trifles and when he is off guard that a man best reveals his character.”
  • James A. Froude
    “The first duty of an historian is to be on guard against his own sympathies.”
  • Joseph Addison
    “Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue.”
  • Latin Proverb
    Latin Proverb
    “Believe nothing and be on your guard against everything.”


As much use as a chocolate fire-guard - A fire-guard is used in front of a fireplace for safety. A chocolate fire-guard is of no use. An alternative to 'As much use as a chocolate teapot'.
Let your guard down - If you let your guard down, you relax and stop looking out for danger.
Off your guard - If you catch someone off their guard, they are not ready or prepared when you do or say something.('Take somoene off their guard' is also used.)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. guarde, F. garde,; of German origin; cf. OHG. wart, warto, one who watches, warta, a watching, Goth. wardja, watchman. See Guard (v. t.)


In literature:

I am to stay behind and brighten my lonely moments drilling the rabble of a home guard.
"The Road to Frontenac" by Samuel Merwin
Guard, a proud and delighted protector, rushed about as excitedly as any of them.
"The Carroll Girls" by Mabel Quiller-Couch
The guard stepped back and leered wickedly.
"Vulcan's Workshop" by Harl Vincent
Military plans had been guarded with unbelievable secrecy.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930" by Various
Nothing was so offensive to Colonel Gray as untidy dress or shabby habiliments on a member of the guard detail.
"Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman" by J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd
People crowded about us and a brace of Columbian guards came hurrying up.
"Against Odds" by Lawrence L. Lynch
The other guard dismounted and stared at the still figure on the trail, then kicked her over until he could see her face.
"The Treasure Trail" by Marah Ellis Ryan
They were deep in the heart of Germany and soon would be in a closely guarded prison camp.
"A Yankee Flier Over Berlin" by Al Avery
Behind him walked his guard: behind the guard he heard Luke Evans shambling.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, October, 1930" by Various
The guard's gaze shifted from them to the trembling figure of Amos Peabody.
"Slaves of Mercury" by Nat Schachner

In poetry:

Never love a simple lad,
Guard against a wise,
Shun a timid youth and sad,
Hide from haunted eyes.
"For A Favorite Granddaughter" by Dorothy Parker

Open my window to the stars:
The stars are swords of light,
A myriad shining swords to guard
My Love to-night.
"A Song Of Stars" by Ethel Clifford
A careful providence shall stand
And ever guard thy head,
Shall on the labors of thy hand
Its kindly blessings shed.
"Psalm 128" by Isaac Watts
Holding our quiet talk apart
Of household things; till, all unsealed,
The guarded outworks of the heart
Began to yield;
"The Letter L" by Jean Ingelow
Guard your every word and action:
Never do and never say
Aught you cannot meet with pleasure
On the mighty judgment-day.
"Breakers" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Satan may vent his sharpest spite,
And all his legions roar;
Almighty mercy guards my life,
And bounds his raging power.
"Hymn 82" by Isaac Watts

In news:

Kansas State guard Martavious Irving (3) tried to get between Alabama- Huntsville guards Jamie Smith (left) and Wayne Dedrick in the first half Tuesday night in Manhattan, Kan.
Debby Wong/US PRESSWIRE Knicks guard Iman Shumpert says he hasn't suffered any setbacks with his rehab, which is bad news for opposing guards.
Marquette sophomore guard Todd Mayo, younger brother of Dallas Mavericks guard O.J.
But not even Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's season-high 42 points could ruin the return of Cavs guard Kyrie Irving on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
In this photo released by Japan Coast Guard 11th Regional Coast Guard, a Chinese airplane flies in Japanese airspace above the islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese in southwestern Japan Thursday, Dec 13, 2012.
Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Vince Carter (25) throws the ball inbounds as New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd (5) defends during the first half at Madison Square Garden.
The Grizzlies waived guard/forward Ronald Dupree, center Jerome Jordan and guard Ronald Murray on Saturday.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, looks to pass against Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews during the first half.
Grizzlies guard Jarryd Bayless slips past Hawks guard Louis Williams during the first half Saturday night at FedExForum.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives against Wizards guard Jordan Crawford, left, during Friday's 102-96 win.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant shrugs while defended by Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving during Tuesday's 100-94 loss.
Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving passes away from Wizards guard A.J.
Maryland guard Nick Faust shoots past South Carolina State guard Adama Adams, more.
Maryland guard Nick Faust shoots past South Carolina State guard Adama Adams, of Senegal, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in College Park, Md.
Sacramento Kings guard Marcus Thornton drives against Los Angeles Lakers guard Jodie Meeks during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif, Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012.

In science:

So X (G) is the minimum number of guards needed to control all corridors of the museum.
Core percolation in random graphs: a critical phenomena analysis
The idea is essentially to look for a vertex with a maximal number of incident corridors and put a guard there.
Core percolation in random graphs: a critical phenomena analysis
We show how leaf removal can be applied to the museum guard problem.
Core percolation in random graphs: a critical phenomena analysis
If (v , w) is a leaf of G, there is a minimal vertex cover with a guard at v .
Core percolation in random graphs: a critical phenomena analysis
The leaf removal of (v , w) leading from G to G′ removes exactly the corridors controlled by the guard at v .
Core percolation in random graphs: a critical phenomena analysis