Origin of keeper

First recorded in 1250–1300, keeper is from the Middle English word keper. See keep, -er1
Related formskeep·er·less, adjectivekeep·er·ship, nounun·der·keep·er, noun

Synonyms for keeper Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for under-keeper

Historical Examples of under-keeper

  • Toomer, the under-keeper, went with him to the place, accompanied by a bloodhound.

    Anecdotes of Dogs

    Edward Jesse

  • There are the two terriers and the under-keeper's Irish mongrel that's on to rats like a flash.

  • But the man who had helped the lad to administer the poisoned clyster, the under-keeper Weston, was at hand.

    She Stands Accused

    Victor MacClure

  • Here also, in all probability, was the man who had fired the shot that killed the under-keeper.

    Mrs. Severn, Vol. 1 (of 3)

    Mary Elizabeth Carter

  • A casual question of mine about the game conditions elicited from him the information that he was an under-keeper at the Castle.

    The Man with the Clubfoot

    Valentine Williams

British Dictionary definitions for under-keeper



a person in charge of animals, esp in a zoo
a person in charge of a museum, collection, or section of a museum
a person in charge of other people, such as a warder in a jail
a person who keeps something
a device, such as a clip, for keeping something in place
a soft iron or steel bar placed across the poles of a permanent magnet to close the magnetic circuit when it is not in use
Derived Formskeeperless, adjectivekeepership, 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 under-keeper



c.1300 (late 13c. as a surname), "one who has charge of some person or thing, warden," agent noun from keep (v.). Sense of "one who carries on some business" is from mid-15c. Sporting sense (originally cricket) is from 1744. Meaning "something (or someone) worth keeping" is attested by 1999. Brother's keeper is from Genesis iv:9.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper