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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

Related Words for gatekeeper

protector, lookout, monitor, sentry, guard, sentinel, doorkeeper

Examples from the Web for gatekeeper

Contemporary Examples of gatekeeper

Historical Examples of gatekeeper

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