Definition of on guard in English:

on guard


  • 1On duty to protect or defend something.

    • ‘Things soured after a six-year-old girl hurt herself when the dog on guard chased her in a bid to protect its family.’
    • ‘There would be no one on guard to protect the town from the Bandits.’
    • ‘Another example shows Macdonald on guard outside the fort that protects Canadian industry.’
    • ‘Some of the men had slipped away from the forward trenches, presumably those who were not actually meant to be on guard or patrol duty.’
    • ‘It is midnight and around me, except for the soldiers out on operations or on guard, 5,000 fighting men and their support staff are sleeping.’
    1. 1.1Prepared for any contingency; vigilant.
      ‘we must be on guard against such temptation’
      • ‘It has alerted us to be continually on our guard hence security at airports and elsewhere.’
      • ‘It teaches you to keep on your guard and keep alert.’
      • ‘Constantly on his guard, he saves his passion for literature.’
      • ‘I find myself constantly on my guard while shopping for fear of muggers, on foot or cycle.’
      • ‘We have to be on our guard continuously against new and emerging infectious diseases.’
      • ‘Instead it had become a whispered warning and reminder to be constantly on our guard.’
      • ‘Growing up in the UK, it took me twenty-two long years to feel secure enough to adopt the feminist label, and even then I was always on my guard, prepared for the usual assumption that I was a bit odd.’
      • ‘He immediately refers back to the episode he had witnessed, using it as his main example of the need to remain constantly on one's guard against princely duplicity.’
      • ‘As Christians we must constantly be on our guard not to be conformed to the world but, rather, to be transformed in our every thought.’
      • ‘If they come back we will be ready, we are on our guard.’
      vigilant, alert, on the alert, wary, watchful, cautious, careful, heedful, chary, circumspect, on the lookout, on the qui vive, on one's toes, prepared, ready, wideawake, attentive, observant, keeping one's eyes peeled
      all ears, beady-eyed, on the ball, not missing a trick, keeping a weather eye on things, cagey, leery
      regardful, argus-eyed
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