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See more synonyms for warder on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who guards something, as a doorkeeper or caretaker.
  2. a soldier or other person set to guard an entrance.
  3. Chiefly British. an official having charge of prisoners in a jail.
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Origin of warder1

1350–1400; Middle English warder(e) (see ward, -er1); compare Anglo-French wardere < Middle English
Related formsward·er·ship, noun


  1. a truncheon or staff of office or authority, used in giving signals.
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Origin of warder2

1400–50; late Middle English < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for warder

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The prisoner, a warder on each side of him, took a step forward.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • The warder in charge put in an entry from the books of the prison.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • I became a warder with a cap white on one side and yellow on the other.

  • Then when my warder came one evening later than usual, I flew on him and felled him.

    Sir Ludar

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • The warder, and every soldier who had been on duty that night, were arrested and questioned.

British Dictionary definitions for warder


feminine wardress

  1. mainly British an officer in charge of prisoners in a jail
  2. a person who guards or has charge of something
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Derived Formswardership, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Anglo-French wardere, from Old French warder to guard, of Germanic origin


  1. (formerly) a staff or truncheon carried by a ruler as an emblem of authority and used to signal his wishes or intentions
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Word Origin

C15: perhaps from Middle English warden to ward
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

Word Origin and History for warder


c.1400, "guardian of an entrance," from Anglo-French wardere "guardian," agent noun from Old North French warder "to guard" (Old French garder), of Germanic origin (see guard (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper