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Ward, subst. 1) guard, preservation: “the best w. of mine honour is rewarding my dependents,” LLL III, 133 (Armado's speech).
2) guard made in fencing, posture of defence: “come from thy w.” Tp. I, 2, 471. “what --s, what blows, what extremities he endured,” H4A I, 2, 211. “thou knowest my old w.” II, 4, 215. Metaphorically: “I could drive her then from the w. of her purity,” Wiv. II, 2, 258. “he's beat from his best w.” Wint. I, 2, 33. “at all these --s I lie, at a thousand watches,” Troil. I, 2, 288.
3) state of being under a guardian: “I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in w.” All's I, 1, 5.
4) one under the care of a guardian: “his son was but a w. two years ago,” Rom. I, 5, 42. “the father should be as w. to the son,” Lr. I, 2, 79.
5) custody, confinement: “ere they will have me go to w., they'll pawn their swords for my enfranchisement,” H6B V, 1, 112.
6) a prison-cell: “prison my heart in thy steel bosom's w.” Sonn. 133, 9. “if you have any thing to say to me, come to my w.” Meas. IV, 3, 66. “to lock it in the --s of covert bosom,” V, 10. in which (prison) “there are many confines, --s and dungeons,” Hml. II, 2, 252.
7) that which secures a door; a bolt: “the locks, . . . each one by him enforced, retires his w.” Lucr. 303. “how careful was I . . . each trifle under truest bars to thrust, that it might stay . . . in sure --s of trust,” Sonn. 48, 4. doors that were ne'er acquainted with their --s “many a bounteous year,” Tim. III, 3, 38. cf. Meas. V, 10.
8) a district of a town: “are there not men in your w. sufficient to serve it?” Meas. II, 1, 281. “the deputy's wife of the w.” H4A III, 3, 130. Proverbial: “one knows not at what w. you lie,” Troil. I, 2, 283.
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