[ gahr-dee-uhn ]
See synonyms for guardian on
  1. a person who guards, protects, or preserves.

  2. Law. a person who is entrusted by law with the care of the person, property, or both, of someone else, such as a minor or someone legally incapable of managing their affairs.

  1. the superior of a Franciscan convent.

  1. guarding; protecting: a guardian deity.

Origin of guardian

First recorded in 1375–1425; from late Middle English gardein, from Anglo-French. See warden

pronunciation note For guardian

Guardian is occasionally pronounced with two syllables and with stress on the final syllable: [gahr-deen]. /gɑrˈdin/. This pronunciation is now most characteristic of older, less educated speakers.

Other words for guardian

Other words from guardian

  • guard·i·an·less, adjective
  • un·der·guard·i·an, noun

Words Nearby guardian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use guardian in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for guardian


/ (ˈɡɑːdɪən) /

  1. one who looks after, protects, or defends: the guardian of public morals

    • law someone legally appointed to manage the affairs of a person incapable of acting for himself, as a minor or person of unsound mind

    • social welfare (in England) a local authority, or person accepted by it, named under the Mental Health Act 1983 as having the powers to require a mentally disordered person to live at a specified place, attend for treatment, and be accessible to a doctor or social worker

  1. (often capital) (in England) another word for custos

  1. protecting or safeguarding

Derived forms of guardian

  • guardianship, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012