Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

guard

2 verb
     
Related topics: Jail and punishment
guard2 [transitive]
1 to protect a person, place, or object by staying near them and watching them:
The Sergeant told Swift to guard the entrance.
a lioness guarding her cubs
guard somebody/something against something
There is no one to guard these isolated farms against attack.
2SCJ to watch a prisoner to prevent them from escaping
3 to protect something such as a right or a secret by preventing other people from taking it away, discovering it etc:
chiefs who jealously guarded their independence
4 to prevent another sports player from gaining points, getting the ball etc

guard against something

phrasal verb
to prevent something from happening:
Exercise can guard against a number of illnesses.
guard against doing something
Nurses should guard against becoming too attached to their patients.

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