- (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.
- (transitive) To avert or prevent.
- He wore garlic to ward off vampires.
to parry, or turn aside
to avert or prevent