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  1. a person employed, as on an estate or game preserve, to prevent poaching and provide a natural environment conducive to the propagation of game, as by thinning brush, scattering food after a snowstorm, and the like.

Origin of gamekeeper

First recorded in 1660–70; game1 + keeper
Related formsgame·keep·ing, nounun·der·game·keep·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gamekeeper

Historical Examples

  • A man in gamekeeper's clothes had issued from the lodge, carrying a gun.

    The Avenger

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • Here, I found, lived the gamekeeper and a few farm labourers.

    Adventures and Recollections

    Bill o'th' Hoylus End

  • Your father is Orn Skinner, who shot the gamekeeper to-night?

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White

  • "He killed the gamekeeper, Ezy says,—Daddy Skinner," she whimpered.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White

  • Gooder than all ye whole church, if his gun did kill the gamekeeper.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White

British Dictionary definitions for gamekeeper


  1. a person employed to take care of game and wildlife, as on an estate
Derived Formsgamekeeping, 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

Word Origin and History for gamekeeper


1660s, from game (n.) in the animal sense + agent noun from keep (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper