Someone who's guarded is careful, restrained, and maybe a little bit wary. It's normal for a new rescue dog to be guarded when you first bring her home.

People tend to be guarded in certain situations — when they're being criticized, or are at a party where they don't know a single person. Others simply have guarded personalities, always starting from a position of cautiousness. Guarded can also literally mean "protected," like a guarded castle, but you'll more often find it describing a restrained person.

Definitions of guarded

adj prudent

guarded optimism”
showing careful forethought

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