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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These are guardians, defending Buddhism from those that would harm it.’
    • ‘These publicity-seeking, self-appointed guardians of our morals have no right to dictate to us what we shall or shall not do.’
    • ‘For centuries, despite forays into excesses and hypocrisy, the Church acted as a guardian of private and public morality.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The guardians were the protectors of the living pharaoh.’
    • ‘And he's the guardian and protector of our barbecue, to make sure that everything is strictly kosher.’
    • ‘Individual rights can be protected only by independent guardians operating in the public light.’
    • ‘They are the protectors and guardians of this land and they will prove great allies for us.’
    • ‘Whenever these self-appointed guardians of alcoholic and architectural merit get involved, an elitist macho tone taints proceedings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When the putative guardians of public morality put the screws to crime and horror comics, distributors refused to put them on newsstands.’
    • ‘And where are the guardians and protectors of all that is right and good in western medicine?’
    • ‘Contrary to popular belief, dragons were guardians and protectors, not rampaging monsters.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As self-appointed guardians of public sensibility, these organisations get to draw the line on what is acceptable.’
    • ‘There are eight guardians who protect these eight weapons, and they all must be defeated before ownership can be claimed.’
    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’
      • ‘Such procedural rights were extended only to parents, guardians and custodians.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Corporal punishment of children occurs primarily during the education process or at the hands of parents or guardians.’
      • ‘As his parents and his legal guardians, we must stay in Australia to represent him in his case.’
      • ‘The parents or guardians of such young mothers should also reflect upon their responsibilities towards their children and grandchildren.’
      • ‘No adult should be permitted to take a child from her parent or guardian, and then take away her nascent free will.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Orphans were placed under the protection of a guardian by means of action taken by a sanctuary.’
      • ‘Regulations 7 and 8 spell out an adoption agency's duties in respect of a child, his parents or guardian and prospective adopter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Family members are parents or guardians of children who attend the pre-school group.’
      • ‘Only parents, guardians or teachers of young people would be able to call in the police in this way, said a Conservative spokesman.’
      • ‘New clause 4A states that the child's parents and guardians should have the primary responsibility for the child's care.’
      • ‘Parents or guardians responded for children aged less than 13.’
      • ‘Then the court will decide who must take care of minor children unless the parents have appointed a guardian.’
      • ‘If so the patient may be unable to instruct a solicitor and will require a guardian ad litem in any court proceedings.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘Parents or guardians for the children were responsible for completing the instrument.’
      • ‘It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to control and monitor what their children view.’
  • 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.