guard·ian | \ ˈgär-dē-ən \

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 \ 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 under the age of 18 are prohibited from setting off fireworks without the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian. Staff Report, Post-Tribune, "Community news," 28 June 2018 Eighty-three percent of them are minors under the age of 18 who entered the U.S. without legal status, unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian. CBS News, "HHS says 2,047 separated children still in custody, won't say whether still receiving kids," 26 June 2018 The information comes from the latest Child Well-Being Survey, a periodic poll of mothers, fathers and guardians of the region’s children. Anne Saker,, "Survey: Cincinnati children dealing with asthma, ADHD more than at national level," 25 June 2018 The latter is all about his sister’s adorable son Rashad, who Marcio actually came to be the guardian of when his sister’s life was derailed by drugs. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'American Idol' Recap: The Coccia Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves (Critic's Take)," 20 Mar. 2018 Music associated with daggering has been banned from the airwaves due to its lewd content, and the super-suggestive moves have the guardians of Jamaican culture sounding the alarm. Newsweek, "Analysis," 14 Mar. 2018 At the end of the day, the ultimate guardian of the consumer is the consumer. Herb Weisbaum, NBC News, "After mega hack, Equifax launches free ‘Lock & Alert’ service — with mixed results," 8 Feb. 2018 To participate, parents or guardians had to enroll in the free Build-a-Bear Bonus Club rewards program. Conner Mitchell, kansascity, "Hundreds of shoppers stuff Oak Park, Independence malls for Build-A-Bear special," 12 July 2018 To take part, however, parents or guardians had to enroll in a no-cost Build-A-Bear Bonus Club rewards program by giving the retailer a valid email address and name. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Build-A-Bear mayhem: Company cancels "Pay Your Age" sale amid massive crowds, safety concerns," 12 July 2018

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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Statistics for guardian

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for guardian

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

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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 \

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 \

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

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Comments on guardian

What made you want to look up guardian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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