American English

Definition of guard noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    people who protect
  1. 1[countable] a person, such as a soldier, a police officer, or a prison officer, who protects a place or people, or prevents prisoners from escaping a security guard border guards The prisoner slipped past the guards at the gate and escaped. A guard was posted outside the building. see also bodyguard, Coast Guard, lifeguard
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] a group of people, such as soldiers or police officers, who protect someone or something the captain of the guard the changing of the guard (= when one group replaces another) The guard is being inspected today. Fellow airmen provided a guard of honor at his wedding. The president always travels with an armed guard. see also National Guard, old guard, rearguard
  3. 3[uncountable] the act or duty of protecting property, places, or people from attack or danger; the act or duty of preventing prisoners from escaping a sentry on guard (= at his or her post, on duty) to do guard duty The escaped prisoner was brought back under armed guard. The terrorist was kept under police guard. One of the men kept guard, while the other broke into the house.
  4. against injury
  5. 4[countable] (often in compounds) something that covers a part of a person's body or a dangerous part of a machine to prevent injury Ensure the guard is in place before operating the machine. see also safeguard, shin guard
  6. in basketball
  7. 5[countable] one of the two players on a basketball team who are mainly responsible for staying close to opposing players to stop them from scoring
  8. in football
  9. 6[countable] one of the two players on a football team who play either side of the center
  10. in boxing /fencing
  11. 7[uncountable] a position you take to defend yourself, especially in a sport such as boxing or fencing to drop/keep up your guard (figurative) In spite of the awkward questions, the minister never let his guard down for a moment.
  12. Idioms
    be on your guard
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    to be very careful and prepared for something difficult or dangerous
    not careful or prepared for something difficult or dangerous The lawyer's apparently innocent question was designed to catch the witness off guard.
    stand/keep guard (over somebody/something)
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    to watch or protect someone or something Four soldiers stood guard over the coffin.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: guard