c. 1300, garite, "turret, small tower on the roof of a house or castle," from Old French garite "watchtower, place of refuge, shelter, lookout," from garir "defend, preserve," which is from a Germanic source (compare Old English warian "to hold, defend," Gothic warjan "forbid," Old High German warjan "to defend"), from Proto-Germanic *warjan, from PIE root *wer- (4) "to cover." Meaning "room on uppermost floor of a house," especially a room with a sloping roof, is from early 14c. See attic. As the typical wretched abode of a poor poet, by mid-18c.
updated on October 19, 2017