war·den | \ˈwȯr-dᵊn \

Definition of warden 

1 : one having care or charge of something : guardian, keeper

2a : regent sense 2

b : the governor of a town, district, or fortress

c : a member of the governing body of a guild

3a : an official charged with special supervisory duties or with the enforcement of specified laws or regulations game warden air raid warden

b : an official in charge of the operation of a prison

c : any of various British officials having designated administrative functions warden of the mint

4a : one of two ranking lay officers of an Episcopal parish

b : any of various British college officials whose duties range from the administration of academic matters to the supervision of student discipline

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Examples of warden in a Sentence

the warden of the cemetery in his role as warden of the school, a principal must provide a safe environment for the students

Recent Examples on the Web

Around 1990, Janie Cockrell became the first female warden in a men’s prison, and in the years that followed, more women began taking on leadership roles, a Houston Press account in the mid-1990s reported. Keri Blakinger, San Antonio Express-News, "Still a ‘boys’ club’: Texas prison system faces allegations of harassment, discrimination," 3 June 2018 One 2009 study found that immigration judges, especially female judges, are more burned out than doctors and prison wardens. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "With 'zero tolerance,' new strain on already struggling immigration courts," 9 July 2018 The state search team included six game wardens and a lieutenant. Teri Figueroa, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fake news? Reports of a tiger roaming in East County are false, officials say," 2 July 2018 The other prisons named in this article did not respond to requests to interview their wardens. New York Times, "Safety Concerns Grow as Inmates Are Guarded by Teachers and Secretaries," 17 June 2018 Choosing Folsom over San Quentin State Prison for the simple reason that its warden answered the phone first, Cash curated a set list specifically for the inmates. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "50 years later, 'At Folsom Prison' is still the definitive Johnny Cash album," 24 May 2018 Officers were called to the parking lot to find the gator along with a game warden from Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Caller-Times reported. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "8-foot alligator caught outside Walmart was making a midnight run, Texas cops say," 29 June 2018 In the video, Officer Allen Mize holds down the gator’s back end while Albert Flores, a game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, holds down its front. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Texas police catch 8-foot alligator heading toward Walmart in wild video," 28 June 2018 Among the Republican candidates is Pete Flores, a retired game warden who lost to Carlos Uresti in 2016. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Crowded races shapes up for Carlos Uresti’s Senate seat," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'warden.' 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 warden

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for warden

Middle English wardein, from Anglo-French wardein, gardein, from warder to guard

Anglo-French wardein gardein guardian, from warder garder to guard, protect

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Phrases Related to warden

dog warden

game warden

traffic warden

Statistics for warden

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for warden

The first known use of warden was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for warden



English Language Learners Definition of warden

: a person who is in charge of or takes care of something

: an official who is in charge of a prison

: any one of various officials at a British college


war·den | \ˈwȯr-dᵊn \

Kids Definition of warden

1 : a person who sees that certain laws are followed game warden

2 : the chief official of a prison



Legal Definition of warden 

1 : an official charged with special supervisory duties or with the enforcement of specified laws or regulations a game warden

2 : an official in charge of the operation of a prison

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Comments on warden

What made you want to look up warden? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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