from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that guards, watches over, or protects.
  • noun One who is legally responsible for the care and management of the person or property of an incompetent or minor.
  • noun A superior in a Franciscan monastery.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A warden; one who guards, preserves, or secures; one to whom some person or thing is committed for preservation from injury; one who has the charge or custody of a person or thing.
  • noun Specifically In law, one to whom the law intrusts the care of the person or property, or both, of another. The word is used chiefly in reference to the control of infants; one charged with similar care of an adult idiot or lunatic is now specifically called a committee, though by the civil law termed guardian. A guardian of the property is a trustee, his trust extending to all the property the infant has or may acquire, or all that he or she has or may acquire within the jurisdiction.
  • noun Guardians at common law were: Guardian in chivalry, a lord who, when a tenant by knight-service died and left an infant heir to inherit the tenure, was entitled by the feudal law to take the profits of the estate, and make what he could by negotiating a marriage for the heir, under certain restrictions, being bound to maintain the ward meanwhile.
  • noun Guardian in socage. See socage.
  • noun Guardian by nature, the father, with respect to his guardianship of the person of his heir apparent or heiress presumptive. This guardianship of the person was allowed as an exception to or reservation out of the powers of a guardian in chivalry, so long as the father of the ward lived. (See below.)
  • noun Guardian for nurture, in English law, the father, and after his death the mother, as having guardianship of the persons of all their children up to the age of fourteen years.
  • noun Guardian by election, a guardian chosen by an infant who would otherwise have none. The choice is not effectual except as it procures appointment by a competent court.
  • noun Guardian by custom, an officer or municipality, or the appointee of a lord of the manor, having by local custom, as in London and Kent, England, a legal right to exercise a guardianship. The practical distinctions now are: Judicially appointed guardian, a guardian designated by a court, the judicial power in this respect being now generally regulated by statute; statutory guardian, a guardian appointed by a parent by deed or will, under authority of a statute; testamentary guardian, a guardian appointed by a parent by will, pursuant to the statute; guardian by nature, the father, or, if he be dead, the mother, exercising the common-law custody of the person, and, by statute, in some jurisdictions, the commonlaw power of a guardian in socage in respect to land, if no guardian is expressly appointed.
  • noun The superior of a Franciscan convent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Performing, or appropriate to, the office of a protector.
  • adjective (R. C. Ch.) a church festival instituted by Pope Paul V., and celebrated on October 2d.
  • adjective Hence, a protector or defender in general.
  • adjective in the belief of many pagan nations, a spirit, often of a deceased relative or friend, that presides over the interests of a household, a city, or a region.
  • noun One who guards, preserves, or secures; one to whom any person or thing is committed for protection, security, or preservation from injury; a warden.
  • noun (Law) One who has, or is entitled to, the custody of the person or property of an infant, a minor without living parents, or a person incapable of managing his own affairs.
  • noun (Law) a guardian appointed by a court of justice to conduct a particular suit.
  • noun the members of a board appointed or elected to care for the relief of the poor within a township, or district.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Someone who guards, watches over, or protects.
  • noun law A person legally responsible for a minor (in loco parentis).
  • noun law A person legally responsible for an incompetent person.
  • noun A superior in a Franciscan monastery.
  • noun video games A major or final enemy; boss.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a person who cares for persons or property


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English gardein, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French gardien, from alteration of gardenc, from garder, to guard; see guard.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman guardein, from Old French *guardian, gardein, garden, *gardenc, from the verb guarder, of Germanic origin. Compare French gardien. See also the English doublet warden.


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  • Looking for a word that means a person who is guarded.

    Synonyms for guardian are guardsman and guardee

    February 22, 2009

  • How about ward?

    February 22, 2009

  • Nice! Thanks. It was driving me almonds and macadamians.

    February 22, 2009

  • Apparently the Guardian is soon going to stop print publication and move to a twitter-only format.

    That might actually be feasible for Wordie...

    April 2, 2009

  • Yes we did notice the date, John...

    April 2, 2009

  • Yeah yeah. But seriously, Wordie would sorta work over Twitter. It's the bastard offspring of Twitter and Wikipedia, sort of. Except that I think it predates Twitter. Their rate of growth has been slightly higher.

    April 2, 2009

  • "For example, Martin Luther King's legendary 1963 speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial appears in the Guardian's Twitterised archive as 'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by', eliminating the waffle and bluster of the original."

    Just imagine what Blipper could do for MLK.

    April 2, 2009

  • What is life if you remove the waffle and bluster? Twife?

    April 2, 2009