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ward someone or something off

to hold someone or something off; to fight someone or something off. The army was able to ward the attackers off repeatedly. We couldn't ward off the attackers any longer.
See also: off, ward

ward off

1. Turn aside, parry, as in He tried to ward off her blows. [Second half of 1500s]
2. Try to prevent, avert, as in She took vitamin C to ward off a cold. [Mid-1700s]
See also: off, ward

ward off

1. To try to prevent; avert: You should take vitamins to ward off infections.
2. To turn something aside; repel: The champion boxer warded off the opponent's blows. The flies were annoying me, but I warded them off.
See also: off, ward

monkey wards

n. Montgomery Wards, a department store chain. (The first mail- order house, it operated through the entire twentieth century. It now operates online.) I get that kind of stuff at monkey wards.
See also: monkey, ward