Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A guard, porter, or watcher of a gate or tower.
  • n. Chiefly British A prison guard.
  • n. A baton formerly used by a ruler or commander as a symbol of authority and to signal orders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A guard, especially in a prison.
  • n. A truncheon or staff carried by a king or commander, used to signal commands.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who wards or keeps; a keeper; a guard.
  • n. A truncheon or staff carried by a king or a commander in chief, and used in signaling his will.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who keeps watch and ward; a keeper; a guard.
  • n. A truncheon or staff of authority carried by a king, commander-in-chief, or other important dignitary.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who works in a prison and is in charge of prisoners

Etymologies

Middle English, from Anglo-Norman wardere, from Old North French warder, to guard; see warden.
Middle English, possibly from warden, to ward, from Old English weardian; see wer-3 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Then, after asking how long the visitor wished to remain with the prisoners -- for Tichborne and Babington were quartered together -- he called a warder and committed Mr. Talbot to his guidance, to remain for two hours locked up in the cell.

    Unknown to History: a story of the captivity of Mary of Scotland

  • "The warder is a normal person required to perform tasks under abnormal circumstances."

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • I was really worried, thinking that I would have to call a warder and explain what had happened.

    Chapter 4 - Awaiting-Trial

  • His warder was a dumb dog, a squint-eyed Cerberus with what Count Victor for once condemned as a tribal gibberish for his language, so that he was incapable of understanding what was said to him even if he had been willing to converse.

    Doom Castle

  • Hogarth took off his boots under his blanket, and from them took out the vials; then, sitting up, commenced to call the warder, at the same time wetting the torn piece of shirt with some of the fluid.

    The Lord of the Sea

  • He, however, is most generally known as warder of the rainbow, and god of heaven, and of the fruitful rains and dews which bring refreshment to the earth.

    Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas

  • "There is a room reserved for special circumstances," and, calling a warder, he gave the necessary instructions.

    The Eternal City

  • The warder was the one first suspected, on the ground that you must have had assistance from without.

    Under Wellington's Command A Tale of the Peninsular War

  • There was no possibility of going round it, yet the drawbridges were already raised and the gates locked, so he boldly called the warder and showed his passport.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Georg Ebers Works

  • Venetian glasses were filled from flasks and jugs; I heard the guests praising the wines of Furstenberg and Bacharach, of Malvoisie and Cyprus, and I marked the effects of the noble and potent grape-juice, nay, now and then I played the part of "warder" to Uncle Christian; yet meseemed that it was only by another's will or ancient habit that I raised a warning finger.

    Margery — Volume 05

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