Pronunciation: (gärd),[key] —v.t. 1. to keep safe from harm or danger; protect; watch over: to guard the ruler. 2. to keep under close watch in order to prevent escape, misconduct, etc.: to guard a prisoner. 3. to keep under control or restraint as a matter of caution or prudence: to guard one's temper. 4. to provide or equip with some safeguard or protective appliance, as to prevent loss, injury, etc.
5. Sports.to position oneself so as to obstruct or impede the movement or progress of (an opponent on offense): The linebacker moved to his right to guard the end going out for a pass. 6. Chess.to protect (a piece or a square) by placing a piece in a supportive or defensive position relative to it.
—v.i. 1. to take precautions (usually fol. by against): to guard against errors. 2. to give protection; keep watch; be watchful.
—n. 1. a person or group of persons that guards, protects, or keeps a protective or restraining watch.
2. a person who keeps watch over prisoners or others under restraint.
3. a body of people, esp. soldiers, charged with guarding a place from disturbance, theft, fire, etc.
4. a close watch, as over a prisoner or other person under restraint: to be kept under guard. 5. a device, appliance, or attachment that prevents injury, loss, etc.
6. something intended or serving to guard or protect; safeguard: insurance as a guard against disasters. 7. a posture of defense or readiness, as in fencing, boxing, or bayonet drill.
8. Football. a. either of the linemen stationed between a tackle and the center.
b. the position played by this lineman.
9. Basketball.either of the players stationed in the backcourt.
10. Chess.a piece that supports or defends another.
11. Cards.a low card that is held with a high card of the same suit and that enables the holder to save the high card for a later trick.
12. Brit.a railroad conductor.
13. Guards,the name of certain bodies of troops in the British army.
14. off guard, unprepared; unwary: The blow from behind caught him off guard.Also,off one's guard. 15. on guard, vigilant; wary: on guard against dishonest merchants.Also,on one's guard. 16. stand guard over, to watch over; protect: The dog stood guard over his wounded master.