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See more synonyms for gatekeeper on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person in charge of a gate, usually to identify, count, supervise, etc., the traffic or flow through it.
  2. guardian; monitor: the gatekeepers of Western culture.
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Origin of gatekeeper

First recorded in 1565–75; gate1 + keeper
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gatekeeper


  1. a person who has charge of a gate and controls who may pass through it
  2. any of several Eurasian butterflies of the genus Pyronia, esp P. tithonus, having brown-bordered orange wings with a black-and-white eyespot on each forewing: family Satyridae
  3. a manager in a large organization who controls the flow of information, esp to parent and subsidiary companies
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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 gatekeeper


1570s, from gate + keeper. Figurative use by 1872.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper