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

  • n. The chief administrative official of a prison.
  • n. An official charged with the enforcement of certain laws and regulations: an air raid warden.
  • n. Chiefly British The chief executive official in charge of a port or market.
  • n. Chiefly British Any of various crown officers having administrative duties.
  • n. Chiefly British One of the governing officials of certain colleges, schools, guilds, or hospitals; a trustee.
  • n. The chief executive of a borough in certain states.
  • n. A churchwarden.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A guard or watchman.
  • n. A chief administrative officer of a prison
  • n. An official charged with supervisory duties or with the enforcement of specific laws or regulations; such as a game warden or air raid warden
  • n. A governing official in various institutions
  • n. A variety of pear, thought to be Black Worcester or Parkinson's Warden.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A keeper; a guardian; a watchman.
  • n. An officer who keeps or guards; a keeper.
  • n. A head official; ; specifically (Eccl.), a churchwarden.
  • n. A large, hard pear, chiefly used for baking and roasting.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Australia, a government officer, with magisterial and executive powers, in charge of a gold-field.
  • n. In freemasonry, one of the officers of a lodge.
  • n. A guard or watchman; a guardian.
  • n. A chief or principal keeper; an officer who keeps or guards: as, the warden of the Fleet (or Fleet prison).
  • n. The title given to the head of some colleges and schools, and to the superior of some conventual churches.
  • n. In Connecticut boroughs, the chief executive officer of the municipal government; in a few Rhode Island towns, a judicial officer. In colonial times the name was sometimes used in place of fire-warden or fire-ward.
  • n. A kind of pear, used chiefly for roasting or baking.

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

  • n. the chief official in charge of a prison


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

Middle English wardein, from Old North French, from warder, to guard, of Germanic origin; see wer-3 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English wardein, from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French wardein, from warder ("to guard"), variant of Old French guarder ("to guard") (whence modern French garder, also English guard), from Proto-Germanic *ward-; related to Old High German wartēn ("to watch"). Compare guardian, French gardien, from Old French. Cf. also reward.



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  • Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer pg. 224

    "Is he your warden, now to?."

    December 2, 2010

  • I was once Junior Warden at an Episcopal church -- much to the amusement of local law enforcement, who thought it was the silliest title ever. while the attached definition (who gets to make these?), the job is not only in law enforcement.

    Here's the Oxford American English Dictionary definition; what with it's English roots, it gives more weight to the Anglican role of wardens:

    a person responsible for the supervision of a particular place or thing or for ensuring that regulations associated with it are obeyed : the warden of a local nature reserve | an air-raid warden.

    • the head official in charge of a prison.

    • a churchwarden.

    • Brit. the head of certain schools, colleges, or other institutions.


    wardenship |-ˌ sh ip| |ˈwɔrdnˈʃɪp| noun

    ORIGIN Middle English (originally denoting a guardian or protector): from Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French wardein, variant of Old French guarden ‘guardian.’

    June 7, 2009