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 Records also show that Espinoza used to work for Osborn and his firm before leaving to take on her role at the public guardian's office. Josh Margolin, ABC News, 19 Nov. 2021 The court replaced the twins with an experienced, temporary guardian, but gave him authority only over Marvin’s property, not his person. New York Times, 17 Nov. 2021 Norman backed Mills up with an example involving Phoenix, who plays his uncle and guardian. Justin Curto, Vulture, 14 Nov. 2021 The boat-burning ceremony in Donggang — a traditional Taoist festival that honors guardian deities known as Wang Ye — has protected Taiwan for decades, according to residents. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 The guardian feature uses interior cameras and multimodal interaction to track and notify the vehicle's driver when something on the roadway needs attention. Patrick Moorhead, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 Court records indicate a Cook County probate judge issued an emergency order naming Vanessa Favia, another of Heather Mack’s attorneys, as Stella’s temporary guardian. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 10 Nov. 2021 The Chicago Tribune reports a Cook County probate judge issued an emergency order on Tuesday appointing family attorney Vanessa Favia as Stella's temporary guardian. Kc Baker,, 3 Nov. 2021 Parental or legal guardian consent is required, and children must be accompanied by an adult. Cindy Krischer Goodman,, 3 Nov. 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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Dictionary Entries Near guardian

guardhouse lawyer


guardian angel

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Statistics for guardian

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guardian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for guardian



English Language Learners Definition of guardian

: someone or something that watches or protects something
: 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

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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