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

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 The child’s guardian decided against pursuing charges. cleveland, 13 May 2022 Daniel Hicks, Kuir's guardian, is a former New Mexico State basketball player. J.l. Kirven, The Courier-Journal, 26 Apr. 2022 During this time, a relative could petition to become the child’s guardian or a birth parent could petition to reunify with their child, Stogel said. Karen Garciastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2022 Like the classic Alan Moore run on the character, Ram V uses the guardian of the green to make visually stunning, mind-expanding comics. Christian Holub,, 20 Apr. 2022 People were also bewildered that Vladimir Putin could be regarded, by anybody, as a champion and guardian of Christian civilization. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 4 Apr. 2022 In February, the Office of the Royal Society, the official guardian of the Thai language, issued a decision that appeared to underscore its position that the capital should be known everywhere as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, rather than Bangkok. New York Times, 2 Apr. 2022 The new guard also looks older and more guardian than the old guard. Scott Galloway, CNN, 29 Mar. 2022 Afghan women living under Taliban control are facing stricter rules when traveling and seeking basic services without a male guardian present. Fortune, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near guardian

guardhouse lawyer


guardian angel

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Statistics for guardian

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Guardian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for guardian


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

More from Merriam-Webster on guardian

Nglish: Translation of guardian for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guardian for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about guardian


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