First Name
15k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
260k
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Ward mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Ward

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Ward
Senses
  1. The act of guarding; watch; guard; guardianship; specifically, a guarding during the day. See the Note under Watch (n.), 1."Still, when she slept, he kept both watch and ward." [Spenser.]
  2. One who, or that which, guards; garrison; defender; protector; means of guarding; defense; protection."For the best ward of mine honor." [Shak.]"The assieged castle's ward Their steadfast stands did mightily maintain." [Spenser.]"For want of other ward, He lifted up his hand, his front to guard." [Dryden.]
  3. The state of being under guard or guardianship; confinement under guard; the condition of a child under a guardian; custody."And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard." [Gen. xl. 3.]"I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward." [Shak.]"It is also inconvenient, in Ireland, that the wards and marriages of gentlemen's children should be in the disposal of any of those lords." [Spenser.]
  4. A guarding or defensive motion or position, as in fencing; guard."Thou knowest my old ward; here I lay, and thus I bore my point." [Shak.]
  5. One who, or that which, is guarded.
    1. A minor or person under the care of a guardian; as, a ward in chancery.
      "You know our father's ward, the fair Monimia." [Otway.]
    2. A division of a county.
      (Eng. & Scot)
    3. A division, district, or quarter of a town or city.
      "Throughout the trembling city placed a guard, Dealing an equal share to every ward." [Dryden.]
    4. A division of a forest.
      (Eng)
    5. A division of a hospital; as, a fever ward .
    1. A projecting ridge of metal in the interior of a lock, to prevent the use of any key which has not a corresponding notch for passing it.
    2. A notch or slit in a key corresponding to a ridge in the lock which it fits; a ward notch.
      "The lock is made . . . more secure by attaching wards to the front, as well as to the back, plate of the lock, in which case the key must be furnished with corresponding notches." [Tomlinson.]

Etymology: AS. weard, fem., guard, weard, masc., keeper, guard; akin to OS. ward a watcher, warden, G. wart, OHG. wart, Icel. vörðr a warden, a watch, Goth. -wards in daúrawards a doorkeeper, and E. wary; cf. OF. warde guard, from the German. See Ware (a.) Wary, and cf. Guard Wraith

verb Ward
Senses
  1. To keep in safety; to watch; to guard; formerly, in a specific sense, to guard during the day time."Whose gates he found fast shut, no living wight To ward the same." [Spenser.]
  2. To defend; to protect."Tell him it was a hand that warded him From thousand dangers." [Shak.]
  3. To defend by walls, fortifications, etc.(Obs)
  4. To fend off; to repel; to turn aside, as anything mischievous that approaches; -- usually followed by off."Now wards a felling blow, now strikes again." [Daniel.]"The pointed javelin warded off his rage." [Addison.]"It instructs the scholar in the various methods of warding off the force of objections." [I. Watts.]

Etymology: OE. wardien, AS. weardian to keep, protect; akin to OS. ward�n to watch, take care, OFries. wardia, OHG. wart�n, G. warten to wait, wait on, attend to, Icel. var�a to guarantee defend, Sw. vårda to guard, to watch; cf. OF. warder, of German origin. See Ward (n.), and cf. Award Guard Reward

verb Ward
Senses
  1. To be vigilant; to keep guard.
  2. To act on the defensive with a weapon."She redoubling her blows drove the stranger to no other shift than to ward and go back." [Sir P. Sidney.]
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A division of a prison (usually consisting of several cells)
  2. Block forming a division of a hospital (or a suite of rooms) shared by patients who need a similar kind of care ("they put her in a 4-bed ward")
  3. A district into which a city or town is divided for the purpose of administration and elections
  4. A person who is under the protection or in the custody of another
  5. United States businessman who in 1872 established a successful mail-order business (1843-1913)
  6. English writer of novels who was an active opponent of the women's suffrage movement (1851-1920)
  7. English economist and conservationist (1914-1981)
  8. Watch over or shield from danger or harm; protect
Wiktionary

Germanic, cognate with ward, warden, guard etc.

  1. An English occupational surname​ for a guard or watchman.

Ward was also found in the following language(s): Dutch

Notable Persons Named Ward

Ward Bond was an actor and singer. His most notable accomplishments were from 1929 to 1960. Ward was given the name Wardell Edwin Bond on April 9th, 1903 in Benkelman, Nebraska, U.S. He breathed his last breath on November 5th, 1960.

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Ward Cunningham is a programmer and computer programmer. He was most prominent from 1984 to present. Ward was given the name Howard G. Cunningham on May 26th, 1949 in Michigan City, Indiana, United States.

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Ward Churchill is an author. Ward was given the name Ward LeRoy Churchill on October 2nd, 1947 in Urbana, Illinois, U.S.

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Ward Hill Lamon was an attorney, bodyguard, u.s. marshal, and united states marshals service. Ward was born on January 6th, 1828 in Winchester, Virginia, U.S. He died on May 7th, 1893.

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Ward Horton is an actor. His ongoing career started in 2000. Ward was given the name Ward Kirby Horton on January 14th, 1976 in Morristown, New Jersey.

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Ward Kimball was an animator and musician. His career lasted from 1935 to 1980. Ward was given the name Ward Walrath Kimball on March 4th, 1914 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. He passed away on July 8th, 2002.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Ward

Andre Ward is a boxer. Andre was born on February 23rd, 1984 in San Francisco, California, U.S.

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Sela Ward is an actress, author, producer, and spokesperson. She has had major accomplishments since 1983. Sela was given the name Sela Ann Ward on July 11th, 1956 in Meridian, Mississippi, U.S.

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Gemma Ward is a model. Gemma was given the name Gemma Louise Ward on November 3rd, 1987 in Perth.

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Lynd Ward was an artist in the fields of illustration and wordless novel. Lynd was given the name Lynd Kendall Ward on June 26th, 1905 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He breathed his last breath on June 28th, 1985.

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Micky was born on October 4th, 1965 in Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S. Micky is also known as Ward and George Michael.

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Rachel Ward is an actor, film director, screenwriter, and actress. She has been prominent since 1979. Rachel was given the name Rachel Claire Ward on September 12th, 1957 in Cornwell, Oxfordshire, England.

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How popular is the baby name Ward in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1880 30 0 30
1881 37 0 37
1882 30 0 30
1883 27 0 27
1884 38 0 38
1885 23 0 23
1886 25 0 25
1887 23 0 23
1888 29 0 29
1889 32 0 32
1890 37 0 37
1891 37 0 37
1892 50 0 50
1893 30 0 30
1894 31 0 31
1895 48 0 48
1896 41 0 41
1897 28 0 28
1898 28 0 28
1899 48 0 48
1900 43 0 43
1901 25 0 25
1902 46 0 46
1903 40 0 40
1904 39 0 39
1905 31 0 31
1906 34 0 34
1907 32 0 32
1908 42 0 42
1909 40 0 40
1910 50 0 50
1911 77 0 77
1912 114 0 114
1913 150 0 150
1914 193 0 193
1915 237 0 237
1916 216 5 211
1917 242 0 242
1918 258 0 258
1919 243 0 243
1920 286 0 286
1921 273 0 273
1922 323 0 323
1923 271 0 271
1924 276 0 276
1925 256 0 256
1926 220 0 220
1927 230 0 230
1928 188 5 183
1929 192 0 192
1930 223 0 223
1931 179 0 179
1932 169 0 169
1933 164 0 164
1934 187 0 187
1935 157 0 157
1936 140 0 140
1937 150 0 150
1938 174 0 174
1939 154 0 154
1940 142 0 142
1941 139 0 139
1942 158 0 158
1943 177 0 177
1944 167 0 167
1945 155 0 155
1946 219 0 219
1947 218 0 218
1948 204 0 204
1949 183 0 183
1950 167 0 167
1951 199 0 199
1952 181 0 181
1953 207 0 207
1954 196 0 196
1955 197 0 197
1956 193 0 193
1957 175 5 170
1958 246 0 246
1959 254 0 254
1960 283 0 283
1961 340 0 340
1962 262 0 262
1963 281 0 281
1964 245 0 245
1965 172 0 172
1966 200 0 200
1967 183 0 183
1968 141 0 141
1969 131 0 131
1970 130 0 130
1971 93 0 93
1972 94 0 94
1973 62 0 62
1974 61 0 61
1975 49 0 49
1976 65 0 65
1977 56 0 56
1978 43 0 43
1979 35 0 35
1980 45 0 45
1981 32 0 32
1982 43 0 43
1983 41 0 41
1984 29 0 29
1985 33 0 33
1986 35 0 35
1987 32 0 32
1988 28 0 28
1989 28 0 28
1990 33 0 33
1991 20 0 20
1992 24 0 24
1993 23 0 23
1994 15 0 15
1995 17 0 17
1996 21 0 21
1997 20 0 20
1998 23 0 23
1999 19 0 19
2000 16 0 16
2001 17 0 17
2002 14 0 14
2003 17 0 17
2004 10 0 10
2005 23 0 23
2006 19 0 19
2007 12 0 12
2008 20 0 20
2009 11 0 11
2010 18 0 18
2011 17 0 17
2012 25 0 25
2013 30 0 30
2014 30 0 30
2015 39 12 27
2016 54 6 48
2017 53 9 44

Where is the name Ward popular?

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Popularity of Ward as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Ward as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Iowa, West Virginia, or Michigan.

Popularity of Ward as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Ward as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Arkansas, North Carolina, or Oklahoma.

Common last names for Ward

  • Smith
  • Miller
  • Williams
  • Johnson
  • Davis
  • Taylor
  • Jones
  • Brown
  • Martin
  • Thompson
  • Robinson
  • Moore
  • Walker
  • Baker
  • Lewis

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Ward U.S.
  White 75.58% 64.26%
  African American 18.50% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.49% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.91% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.08% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.44% 16.26%

Of Last Name Ward

People with the last name Ward are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Ward

  • How Popular is the name Ward? Ward is the 2,016th most popular name of all time. As a last name Ward was the 79th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Ward have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 14,725 babies born with the first name Ward in the United States. That's more than enough people named Ward to occupy the territory of Wallis and Futuna (France) with an estimated population of 13,000 (as of July 1, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Ward? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 30 new born babies.
  • When was Ward first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Ward is Thursday, February 27th, 1868.
  • What year had the most people named Ward born? The highest recorded use of the first name Ward was in 1961 with a total of 340 babies.
  • Random Ward Factoid: According to the 1959 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Ward is not a popular baby boy's name in Louisiana. Imagine that, only 5 babies in Louisiana have the same name as you in 1959.
  • Weird things about the name Ward: Your name in reverse order is Draw. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Dwar. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Ward? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 260,464 people with the last name Ward.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Ward? Ward was ranked as the 79th most popular last name but is still less than 0.1% of the population!

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.