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 Interested students can attend remote information sessions with their parent or guardian. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "Plano ISD high school academy open houses getting underway, applications open soon," 9 Nov. 2020 Colorado also requires facilities to notify a parent or guardian within 12 hours of any confinement and provide a reason., "A Wisconsin teen's death behind bars reveals how children get trapped in the justice system -- and how we can stop the cycle," 23 Oct. 2020 At urgent care centers and emergency rooms, only one patient will be allowed in an exam room, though a parent or guardian can accompany minors. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Philharmonic pop-up, college cheaters, debating the response: News from around our 50 states," 14 Oct. 2020 All records will be destroyed unless a parent/guardian notifies the district. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park plans 'Pumpkin Town' drive-through event," 9 Oct. 2020 More often than not, it’s Mom or another female caregiver or guardian. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "The coronavirus pandemic has hurt everyone. But it hurts women more.," 23 Oct. 2020 Daly has appointed Hebron attorney Peter Alter as a guardian ad litem for Jennifer Farber Dulos to represent her interests during the hearing. Dave Altimari,, "Probate judge to determine whether to declare missing New Canaan mother Jennifer Farber Dulos legally dead," 22 Oct. 2020 In 2017, Lawanda Griffin became guardian to her granddaughter Deniya after the young girl was critically injured during a triple murder in which her parents were killed, as KSDK reported at the time. NBC News, "3 members of same Missouri family die of coronavirus, 5 more sickened," 20 Oct. 2020 Kwaku Amoaku, Mensah’s guardian and the founder of the African Youth Basketball Organization that facilitated his move from Ghana, echoed that sentiment last spring. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, "SDSU’s Nathan Mensah has live contact for first time in 2020," 20 Oct. 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

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Guardian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 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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