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c.1300, "turret, small tower on the roof of a house or castle," from Old French garite "watchtower, place of refuge," from garir "defend, preserve," from a Germanic source (cf. Gothic warjan "forbid," Old High German warjan "to defend"), from Proto-Germanic *warjanan, from PIE root *wer- "to cover" (see warrant (n.)). Meaning "room on uppermost floor of a house" is from early 14c. See attic. As the typical wretched abode of a poor poet, by mid-18c.