the old guardnoun [ S, + sing/pl verb ]uk /ˌəʊld ˈɡɑːd/ us /ˌoʊld ˈɡɑːrd/ disapproving
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(Definition of “the old guard” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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said to emphasize that being part of a group makes you less likely to be harmed