Definition of guardian in English:



  • 1A person who protects or defends something.

    ‘self-appointed guardians of public morality’
    • ‘Every 500 hundred years new guardians are chosen to protect Earth and it's people.’
    • ‘These publicity-seeking, self-appointed guardians of our morals have no right to dictate to us what we shall or shall not do.’
    • ‘This judge has failed time and time again to properly apply the laws put in place by the people of Florida for the purpose of protecting Wards from unscrupulous guardians.’
    • ‘Individual rights can be protected only by independent guardians operating in the public light.’
    • ‘And where are the guardians and protectors of all that is right and good in western medicine?’
    • ‘Instead of acting as guardians and protectors, those in power are posing serious threats to the safety and security of our country and its citizens.’
    • ‘Self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy in any number of faiths could use the legislation to harass dissidents within their own communities.’
    • ‘There are two strong guardians to protect against this: fear and shame.’
    • ‘When the putative guardians of public morality put the screws to crime and horror comics, distributors refused to put them on newsstands.’
    • ‘As grown-ups we are able to exercise choice. These self-appointed moral guardians seem to think they have the right to ban that choice.’
    • ‘The film revolves round a martial arts master who comes to America in search of the next guardian who would protect the powerful scroll in his possession.’
    • ‘As self-appointed guardians of public sensibility, these organisations get to draw the line on what is acceptable.’
    • ‘The guardians were the protectors of the living pharaoh.’
    • ‘Whenever these self-appointed guardians of alcoholic and architectural merit get involved, an elitist macho tone taints proceedings.’
    • ‘Contrary to popular belief, dragons were guardians and protectors, not rampaging monsters.’
    • ‘They are the protectors and guardians of this land and they will prove great allies for us.’
    • ‘For centuries, despite forays into excesses and hypocrisy, the Church acted as a guardian of private and public morality.’
    • ‘There are eight guardians who protect these eight weapons, and they all must be defeated before ownership can be claimed.’
    • ‘These are guardians, defending Buddhism from those that would harm it.’
    • ‘And he's the guardian and protector of our barbecue, to make sure that everything is strictly kosher.’
    protector, defender, preserver, champion, custodian, warden, guard, keeper
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person who is legally responsible for the care of someone who is unable to manage their own affairs, especially a child whose parents have died.
      ‘I am acting as guardian of my late brother's family’
      • ‘Children have the right to live in a safe and secure environment and it is the responsibility of their parents and guardians to provide this environment.’
      • ‘You see, a good number of parents and guardians in this part of town just couldn't manage to get their kids to school on time (let alone feed them breakfast).’
      • ‘The parents or guardians of such young mothers should also reflect upon their responsibilities towards their children and grandchildren.’
      • ‘As his parents and his legal guardians, we must stay in Australia to represent him in his case.’
      • ‘New clause 4A states that the child's parents and guardians should have the primary responsibility for the child's care.’
      • ‘If so the patient may be unable to instruct a solicitor and will require a guardian ad litem in any court proceedings.’
      • ‘Only parents, guardians or teachers of young people would be able to call in the police in this way, said a Conservative spokesman.’
      • ‘No adult should be permitted to take a child from her parent or guardian, and then take away her nascent free will.’
      • ‘Family members are parents or guardians of children who attend the pre-school group.’
      • ‘It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to control and monitor what their children view.’
      • ‘And as parents or guardians of young people it's important that we stay aware of what's happening out there, no matter how unsavoury.’
      • ‘Parents or guardians for the children were responsible for completing the instrument.’
      • ‘Corporal punishment of children occurs primarily during the education process or at the hands of parents or guardians.’
      • ‘Such procedural rights were extended only to parents, guardians and custodians.’
      • ‘The freedom from coercion to have or to adopt a religion or belief and the liberty of parents and guardians to ensure religious and moral education cannot be restricted.’
      • ‘Then the court will decide who must take care of minor children unless the parents have appointed a guardian.’
      • ‘Regulations 7 and 8 spell out an adoption agency's duties in respect of a child, his parents or guardian and prospective adopter.’
      • ‘Parents or guardians responded for children aged less than 13.’
      • ‘Children go into care when their current parent or guardian is unable to look after them, or if the child's health, safety or well-being is at risk.’
      • ‘Orphans were placed under the protection of a guardian by means of action taken by a sanctuary.’
  • 2The superior of a Franciscan convent.


Late Middle English: from Old French garden, of Germanic origin; compare with ward and warden. The ending was altered by association with -ian.