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 Students age 12 to 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and ID is required to prove their age, but other information, such as immigration status, will not be asked for or considered. Erin Schumaker, ABC News, 4 June 2021 An adult or guardian must be with those age 18 and younger getting vaccinated. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 4 June 2021 The motor of the novel is Katharina’s (fully fictional) version of events delivered as an informal deposition transcribed by her neighbor and legal guardian, Simon. Wyatt Mason, WSJ, 4 June 2021 Democrats are upset that the Biden administration is choosing to open overflow facilities to house children who show up on the U.S.-Mexico border without a guardian or parent. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, 20 Mar. 2021 Barnett also gained entrée to the Lichtenstein Foundation in New York, guardian of the artist’s estate, enabling him to interview art historian Avis Berman, leader of the foundation’s Roy Lichtenstein oral history project. Steven Litt, cleveland, 23 May 2021 Anyone younger than 18 should be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible adult, and present photo identification and verification of age, county officials said. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2021 One form is required per adult, but minors can be included on a parent or guardian's form. Lilit Marcus, CNN, 7 May 2021 In the final shootout, Wrecker takes a bolt from his brother’s rifle, and Kaminoan scientist Nala Se (Gwendoline Yeo), Omega’s longtime guardian, uses her datapad to hold open a hangar-bay door, aiding the Bad Batch in their escape. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, 6 May 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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guardian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 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


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