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 guardianship (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 Her brother, by then his sister’s legal guardian, moved her to a foster home. oregonlive, "Until COVID-19 took her life, Sharon McGovern existed in the shadows, fighting to be independent," 3 July 2020 Entry is free and minors are welcome, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, until 9 p.m. Masks are required inside and highly encouraged in outdoor areas. Danielle Duclos, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage galleries cautiously return to in-person First Friday events," 3 July 2020 Bud Billiken is a fictional character considered a guardian of children and was created in 1923. USA TODAY, "Mink worries, rumor patrol, paused reopenings: News from around our 50 states," 1 July 2020 Now, widowed and thrown into Bedlam by scheming family members, Patience has to masquerade as a nanny for her newborn son while being overseen by her son’s new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hot Stuff: June romances embrace the inherent sexiness of faking it," 30 June 2020 If a child is abducted — defined as unwillingly removed from their home or a guardian’s custody — that can trigger an Amber Alert, with descriptions of the child going out on highway billboards, sent to cell phones and put out to media. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's what we know about the chaos that unfolded Tuesday near a Washington Park home," 25 June 2020 If a minor is found to be violating the curfew, a parent or guardian can be fined $100 for the first violation and up to $500 for the second. al, "Mobile police: Minors subject to downtown curfew, parents could face fines," 24 June 2020 Each package is designed to be done with the supervision of the participant’s parent/guardian. cleveland, "Avon Lake redesigns city website, easier to navigate: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 13 June 2020 It can be complicated to find a balance between leniency and strictness during this time, especially as parents balance the roles of guardian, teacher, entertainer and friend. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Positive discipline 101: How to rein in your kids when the pandemic changes the relationship," 17 June 2020

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

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Guardian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for guardian


How to pronounce guardian (audio)

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

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