Definition 2022


ward off



ward off (third-person singular simple present wards off, present participle warding off, simple past and past participle warded off)

  1. (transitive) To parry, or turn aside.
    • 2013 July-August, Henry Petroski, Geothermal Energy”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
      Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.
    He raised his arms to ward off the attack.
  2. (transitive) To avert or prevent.
    He wore garlic to ward off vampires.