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warder (plural warders)

  1. A guard, especially in a prison.
    • 1593, Christopher Marlowe, Edward II, Act IV, Scene 1,[1]
      Kent. Mortimer, ’tis I.
      But hath thy portion wrought so happily?
      Younger Mortimer. It hath, my lord: the warders all asleep,
      I thank them, gave me leave to pass in peace.
    • 1808, Walter Scott, Marmion, Edinburgh: J. Ballantyne, Canto I, stanza 2, p. 24,[2]
      Above the gloomy portal arch,
      Timing his footsteps to a march,
      The warder kept his guard;
    • 1885, Richard Francis Burton (translator), The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 5, 368th Night, p. 26,[3]
      So the guards carried him to the jail, thinking to lay him by the heels there for the night; but, when the warders saw his beauty and loveliness, they could not find it in their hearts to imprison him: they made him sit with them without the walls; and, when food came to them, he ate with them what sufficed him.
    • 1958, Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, London: Heinemann, Chapter 24,
      Nobody else spoke, but they noticed the long stripes on Okonkwo’s back where the warder’s whip had cut into his flesh.
  2. (archaic) A truncheon or staff carried by a king or commander, used to signal commands.
    • 1595, Samuel Daniel, Civil Wars, in The Poetical Works of Mr. Samuel Daniel, Volume II, London: R. Gosling, 1718, Book I, stanza 62, p. 25,[4]
      When, lo! the king chang’d suddenly his Mind,
      Casts down his Warder to arrest them there;
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, Richard II, Act I, Scene 3,[5]
      Stay, the king hath thrown his warder down.
    • 1764, Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto, London: Tho. Lownds, Chapter 3, p. 91,[6]
      If thou dost not comply with these just demands, he defies thee to single combat to the last extremity. And so saying, the Herald cast down his warder.



Old French[edit]



  1. (Old Northern French, Anglo-Norman) Alternative form of guarder


This verb conjugates as a first-group verb ending in -er. The forms that would normally end in *-d, *-ds, *-dt are modified to t, z, t. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.