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. Compare also ward and reward.


warden ‎(plural wardens)

  1. (archaic or literary) A guard or watchman.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      He called to the warden on the [] battlements.
  2. A chief administrative officer of a prison
  3. An official charged with supervisory duties or with the enforcement of specific laws or regulations; such as a game warden or air raid warden
  4. A governing official in various institutions
    the warden of a college
  5. (archaic, slang) A variety of pear, thought to be Black Worcester or Parkinson's Warden.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      I would have had him roasted like a warden.
    • Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
      I must have saffron the colour of warden pies.


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