guard·​ed ˈgär-dəd How to pronounce guarded (audio)
: being an extremely serious condition with uncertain outcome
was in guarded condition after the crash
guardedly adverb
guardedness noun

Examples of guarded in a Sentence

a guarded man who knew better than to reveal such delicate information
Recent Examples on the Web Hirst is a guarded and successful writer, Spooner a poet or a fraud or both. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, 24 July 2023 You’re very guarded. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Jan. 2022 After his relationship with Jan (Amy Ryan) ended dramatically, Charles (Steve Martin) is even more guarded with his heart in season two. Emma Fraser and Sophie Brookover, Town & Country, 21 Dec. 2022 The guarded and pessimistic mood that results from this oppression permeates this melodrama, all the way down to its muted color palette. Katie Rife, Rolling Stone, 21 Oct. 2022 When the massive sanctions on Russia were announced following the invasions, even those most skeptical of economic warfare offered at least guarded support for Biden’s approach. Blaise Malley, The New Republic, 4 Nov. 2022 The revelations add to a growing picture of Mr. Sunak’s closely guarded wealth, one flecked by tax controversies, offshore accounts and millions of dollars in potential conflicts of interests that went undeclared. Jane Bradley, New York Times, 28 Oct. 2022 This is true even for the most guarded and private of interviewees—like, for instance, Princess Margaret, whose interview on Desert Island Discs is the catalyst for an intensely emotional episode of The Crown’s latest season. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 18 Nov. 2022 After the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, the government turned on the political openness of the 1980s and became more guarded toward the outside world. Vivian Wang, New York Times, 27 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'guarded.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of guarded was in 1709

Dictionary Entries Near guarded

Cite this Entry

“Guarded.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


guard·​ed ˈgärd-əd How to pronounce guarded (audio)
: cautious, noncommittal
a guarded answer
guardedly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on guarded

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