guard·​ian | \ ˈgär-dē-ən How to pronounce guardian (audio) \

Definition of guardian

1 : one that guards : custodian
2 : a superior of a Franciscan monastery
3 : one who has the care of the person or property of another

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Other Words from guardian

guardianship \ ˈgär-​dē-​ən-​ˌship How to pronounce guardian (audio) \ noun

Examples of guardian in a Sentence

After the death of her parents, her uncle was appointed as her legal guardian. the state became his guardian when he was put into protective custody
Recent Examples on the Web Those are lessons that should have been covered by your parent, guardian, or freshman-year roommate. Brian Moylan, Vulture, "The Real Housewives of New York City Season-Premiere Recap: Grey Garden Party," 5 May 2021 Spears is locked in a legal battle to remove her father as the sole guardian of her conservatorship. al, "Britney Spears calls documentaries about her ‘hypocritical’," 5 May 2021 Spears is locked in a legal battle to remove her father as the sole guardian of her conservatorship. Angie Orellana Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, "She did it again. Britney Spears calls out documentaries for being ‘hypocritical’," 4 May 2021 Aisha, as chief mate, the ship’s second-in-command, signed the letter designating himself as the legal guardian of the vessel on the advice of the captain, the report said. Natalie Musumeci, Fox News, "Sailor spent nightmarish 4 years trapped aboard Egyptian cargo ship," 1 May 2021 Budelli is an Italian island off the coast of Sardinia, famous for having beautiful pink sand on its beaches and an unlikely guardian–known locally as Italy’s Robinson Crusoe, as reported by The Guardian. Alex Ledsom, Forbes, "After 32 Years, Shipwrecked Man Leaves Italian Island," 26 Apr. 2021 The boy was taken to the police station, then given a courtesy ride to Euclid, where he was turned over to a guardian, 20. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Unlicensed juvenile driver avoids hitting one cruiser, then backs into another: Orange Police Blotter," 23 Jan. 2021 Ros’ grandmother/guardian spirit Nana Rose (L. Scott Caldwell) to confirm the truth. Ariana Romero,, "There Is So Much Meaning To Sabrina’s New “Weird Sisters” Surprise," 31 Dec. 2020 Those residents should bring a parent or guardian during the appointment. Alice Yin,, "All Chicago mass COVID-19 vaccination sites to open for walk-in appointments starting Friday," 22 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guardian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of guardian

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for guardian

Middle English gardein, wardein — more at warden

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Time Traveler for guardian

Time Traveler

The first known use of guardian was in the 15th century

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Statistics for guardian

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guardian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for guardian



English Language Learners Definition of guardian

: someone or something that watches or protects something
law : someone who takes care of another person or of another person's property


guard·​ian | \ ˈgär-dē-ən How to pronounce guardian (audio) \

Kids Definition of guardian

1 : a person who guards or looks after something : custodian
2 : a person who legally has the care of another person or of another person's property

Other Words from guardian

guardianship \ -​ˌship \ noun


guard·​ian | \ ˈgär-dē-ən How to pronounce guardian (audio) \

Legal Definition of guardian

: one who has or is entitled or legally appointed to the care and management of the person or property of another — compare committee, conservator, curator, receiver, tutor
guardian ad litem \ -​ad-​ˈlī-​təm, -​äd-​ˈlē-​tem \
: a guardian appointed by a court to represent in a particular lawsuit the interests of a minor, a person not yet born, or a person judged incompetent
guardian by nature
: natural guardian in this entry
natural guardian
: a guardian by natural relationship having custody of the person but not the property of a minor

Note: Under common law the father is considered the natural guardian of a child until his death or incapacitation, whereupon the mother becomes the natural guardian. Many states have passed statutes giving both parents equal rights as guardians.

statutory guardian
: a guardian appointed by statutory authority
testamentary guardian
: a person named in a will to serve as a guardian

Other Words from guardian

guardianship noun

Comments on guardian

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