from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The chief administrative official of a prison.
  • noun An official charged with the enforcement of certain laws and regulations.
  • noun The chief executive official in charge of a port or market.
  • noun Any of various crown officers having administrative duties.
  • noun One of the governing officials of certain colleges, schools, guilds, or hospitals; a trustee.
  • noun The chief executive of a borough in certain states.
  • noun A churchwarden.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Australia, a government officer, with magisterial and executive powers, in charge of a gold-field.
  • noun In freemasonry, one of the officers of a lodge.
  • noun A kind of pear, used chiefly for roasting or baking.
  • noun A guard or watchman; a guardian.
  • noun A chief or principal keeper; an officer who keeps or guards: as, the warden of the Fleet (or Fleet prison).
  • noun The title given to the head of some colleges and schools, and to the superior of some conventual churches.
  • noun In Connecticut boroughs, the chief executive officer of the municipal government; in a few Rhode Island towns, a judicial officer. In colonial times the name was sometimes used in place of fire-warden or fire-ward.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A keeper; a guardian; a watchman.
  • noun An officer who keeps or guards; a keeper.
  • noun A head official; ; specifically (Eccl.), a churchwarden.
  • noun obsolete A large, hard pear, chiefly used for baking and roasting.
  • noun [Obs.] a pie made of warden pears.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun archaic or literary A guard or watchman.
  • noun A chief administrative officer of a prison
  • noun An official charged with supervisory duties or with the enforcement of specific laws or regulations; such as a game warden or air raid warden
  • noun A governing official in various institutions
  • noun archaic, slang A variety of pear, thought to be Black Worcester or Parkinson's Warden.

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

  • noun the chief official in charge of a prison


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

[Middle English wardein, from Old North French, from warder, to guard, of Germanic origin; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English wardein, from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French wardein, from warder ("to guard"), variant of Old French guarder ("to guard") (whence modern French garder, also English guard), from Proto-Germanic *ward-; related to Old High German wartēn ("to watch"). Compare guardian, French gardien, from Old French. Cf. also reward.



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  • I was once Junior Warden at an Episcopal church -- much to the amusement of local law enforcement, who thought it was the silliest title ever. while the attached definition (who gets to make these?), the job is not only in law enforcement.

    Here's the Oxford American English Dictionary definition; what with it's English roots, it gives more weight to the Anglican role of wardens:

    a person responsible for the supervision of a particular place or thing or for ensuring that regulations associated with it are obeyed : the warden of a local nature reserve | an air-raid warden.

    • the head official in charge of a prison.

    • a churchwarden.

    • Brit. the head of certain schools, colleges, or other institutions.


    wardenship |-ˌ sh ip| |ˈwɔrdnˈʃɪp| noun

    ORIGIN Middle English (originally denoting a guardian or protector): from Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French wardein, variant of Old French guarden ‘guardian.’

    June 7, 2009

  • Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer pg. 224

    "Is he your warden, now to?."

    December 2, 2010