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[kair-tey-ker] /ˈkɛərˌteɪ kər/
a person who is in charge of the maintenance of a building, estate, etc.; superintendent.
a person or group that temporarily performs the duties of an office.
British. a janitor.
a person who takes care of another.
involving the temporary performance of the duties of an office:
a caretaker government.
Origin of caretaker
1855-60; care + taker
Related forms
caretaking, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for care-taker
Historical Examples
  • Hiel considered himself as the provisional owner and care-taker of the town of Poganuc.

    Poganuc People Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The care-taker and his wife declared they would live there no longer.

    A Stable for Nightmares J. Sheridan Le Fanu
  • And the usually timid country girl entered into her new rôle of care-taker with extraordinary zest.

    A Tar-Heel Baron Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton
  • They only had the care-taker and her husband and these men on the place.

    Peggy in Her Blue Frock Eliza Orne White
  • Tim Brady, the care-taker, would bring him food at stated intervals.

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • When they went to the Cove the house would be in charge of a care-taker.

    The Motor Girls on the Coast Margaret Penrose
  • A poor little boy lived there with only the care-taker and another servant.

    The Little Colonel's Hero Annie Fellows Johnston
  • I suppose you are Mrs. Lankton, the care-taker,' I said, as cheerfully as I could.

    Hildegarde's Home Laura E. Richards
  • The mission is guarded by a care-taker, living in the premises of what remains of the old mission orchard.

    Chimes of Mission Bells Maria Antonia Field
  • The house was in charge of a Chaukidar (care-taker, porter or watchman) when it was vacant.

British Dictionary definitions for care-taker


a person who is in charge of a place or thing, esp in the owner's absence: the caretaker of a school
(modifier) holding office temporarily; interim: a caretaker government
(social welfare) a person who takes care of a vulnerable person, often a close relative See also carer
Derived Forms
caretaking, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for care-taker

also caretaker, 1858, from care (n.) + agent noun of take (v.). The back-formed verb caretake is attested by 1893.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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