Definition of ward someone/something off in US English:

ward someone/something off

phrasal verb

  • Prevent someone or something from harming or affecting one.

    ‘she put up a hand as if to ward him off’
    • ‘Armour is used to shield, but not solely to ward off physical harm.’
    • ‘Rue was hung from doorways and windows to ward off evil spirits and prevent them from entering the house.’
    • ‘These behaviors generally are intended to ward off harm to the person with OCD or others.’
    • ‘I suppose it all depends on what sort of harm you want to ward off.’
    • ‘Practices included the use of talismans and incantations to ward off evil spirits, and ‘shamanic journeying’.’
    • ‘The veil was also believed to magically have the power to ward off surrounding evils that wish to harm the bride.’
    • ‘Included are live demonstrations by a museum carver on how sailors depicted women on figureheads which, when placed on the bow of a ship, served to ward off harm at sea.’
    • ‘In areas where apples were grown, it evolved into a ritual in which chants and dances were used to ward off evil spirits which it was believed would harm the trees.’
    • ‘The archetypal souvenirs are ceramic tiles featuring the Evil Eye - a Turkish good luck charm designed to ward off evil spirits.’
    • ‘So far the red peppers appear to be an easy, cost-effective means of warding off pachyderms without harming them, Osborn says.’
    fend off, drive back, keep off, stave off, repel, repulse, beat back, rout, put to flight, chase away
    parry, avert, deflect, block, turn aside, defend oneself against, guard against, evade, avoid, dodge
    avert, rebuff, rebut, keep at bay, keep at arm's length, fend off, stave off, oppose, resist, prevent, hinder, obstruct, impede, foil, frustrate, thwart, check, baulk, stop, head off
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