1. The chief administrative official of a prison.
2. An official charged with the enforcement of certain laws and regulations: an air raid warden.
3. Chiefly British
a. The chief executive official in charge of a port or market.
b. Any of various crown officers having administrative duties.
c. One of the governing officials of certain colleges, schools, guilds, or hospitals; a trustee.
4. The chief executive of a borough in certain states.
5. A churchwarden.
[Middle English wardein, from Old North French, from warder, to guard, of Germanic origin; see wer-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.