Words related to *wer-


late 14c., orange bright star in the constellation Bootes (also used of the whole constellation), from Latin Arcturus, from Greek Arktouros, literally "guardian of the bear" (the bright star was anciently associated with nearby Ursa Major, the "Big Dipper," which it seems to follow across the sky). For first element see arctic; second element is Greek ouros "watcher, guardian, ward" (from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for"). It is fourth-brightest of the fixed stars. The double nature of the great bear/wagon (see Big Dipper) has given two different names to the constellation that follows it: Arktouros "bear-ward" and Bootes "the wagoner."

Arcturus in the Bible (Job ix.9 and xxxviii.32) is a mistranslation by Jerome (continued in KJV) of Hebrew 'Ayish, which refers to what we see as the "bowl" of the Big Dipper. In Israel and Arabia, the seven stars of the Great Bear seem to have been a bier (the "bowl") followed by three mourners. In the Septuagint it was translated as Pleiada, which is equally incorrect.

avant-garde (n.)

also avant garde, avantgarde; French, literally "advance guard" (see avant + guard (n.)). Used in English 15c.-18c. in a literal, military sense; borrowed again 1910 as an artistic term for "pioneers or innovators of a particular period." Also used around the same time in a political sense in communist and anarchist publications. As an adjective, by 1925.

The avant-garde générale, avant-garde stratégique, or avant-garde d'armée is a strong force (one, two, or three army corps) pushed out a day's march to the front, immediately behind the cavalry screen. Its mission is, vigorously to engage the enemy wherever he is found, and, by binding him, to ensure liberty of action in time and space for the main army. ["Sadowa," Gen. Henri Bonnal, transl. C.F. Atkinson, 1907]
award (v.)

late 14c., awarden, "decide after careful observation," from Anglo-French awarder, from Old North French eswarder (Old French esgarder) "decide, judge, give one's opinion" (after careful consideration), from es- "out" (see ex-) + warder "to watch," a word from Germanic (see ward (n.)). Related: Awarded; awarding.

aware (adj.)

Middle English aware, from late Old English gewær "watchful, vigilant," from Proto-Germanic *ga-waraz (source also of Old Saxon giwar, Middle Dutch gheware, Old High German giwar, German gewahr), from *ga-, intensive prefix, + *waraz "wary, cautious" (from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for").

beware (v.)

"be on one's guard," c. 1200, probably a contraction of be ware "be wary, be careful," from Middle English ware (adj.), from Old English wær "prudent, aware, alert, wary," from Proto-Germanic *waraz, from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for." Compare ware (v.). Old English had the compound bewarian "to defend," which perhaps contributed to the word. Also compare begone.

Like be gone, now begone, be ware came to be written as one word, beware, and then was classed by some authors with the numerous verbs in be-, and inflected accordingly; hence the erroneous forms bewares in Ben Jonson, and bewared in Dryden. [Century Dictionary]

masc. proper name, from Old English Eadweard, literally "prosperity-guard," from ead "wealth, prosperity" (see Edith) + weard "guardian" (see ward (n.)). Among the 10 most popular names for boys born in the U.S. every year from 1895 to 1930.

ephor (n.)

Spartan magistrate, 1580s, from Greek ephoros "overseer," from epi- "over" (see epi-) + horan "to see," which is possibly from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for."

garderobe (n.)

also garde-robe, "wardrobe," early 14c., from Old French garderobe "wardrobe; alcove; dressing-room" (Old North French warderobe; see wardrobe).

guard (n.)

early 15c., "one who keeps watch, a body of soldiers," also "care, custody, guardianship," and the name of a part of a piece of armor, from French garde "guardian, warden, keeper; watching, keeping, custody," from Old French garder "to keep, maintain, preserve, protect" (see guard (v.)). Abstract or collective sense of "a keeping, a custody" (as in bodyguard) also is from early 15c. Sword-play and fisticuffs sense is from 1590s; hence to be on guard (1640s) or off (one's) guard (1680s). As a football position, from 1889. Guard-rail attested from 1860, originally on railroad tracks and running beside the rail on the outside; the guide-rail running between the rails.

hardware (n.)

mid-15c., "small metal goods," from hard (adj.) + ware (n.). In the sense of "physical components of a computer" it dates from 1947. Hardware store attested by 1789.