Definition of gatekeeper in English:



  • 1An attendant employed to control who goes through a gate.

    • ‘He trotted up to a tiny red booth adjacent to the gate and spoke to the gatekeeper, a tiny woman with dyed green hair.’
    • ‘Charlie, our gateman, was always happy to talk to me.’
    • ‘The gatekeeper nodded, and admitted them through the gate.’
    • ‘To use it, the gateman had to lower the gates while he left the tower.’
    • ‘If a worker wants to take home any glass, tin, nails or wood, all he has to do is to get a slip foreman and the gateman or big boss won't say a word.’
    • ‘Giving her appearance a final check-over she strode up to the gate, eyes narrowed when the gatekeepers slid out of their posts to meet her.’
    • ‘The umpires, linesmen and gatemen and ‘everyone else’ were thanked too while the faithful supporters were not forgotten either.’
    • ‘Proponents argue that poorly educated, trained, and paid workers are inadequate gatekeepers for airline security.’
    • ‘The guard nodded to the old gatekeeper, who set to work hefting the chains that would raise the small portcullis that now blocked the way out into the city.’
    • ‘According to school staff, the gatekeeper was 51 and had been employed at the nursery on a temporary basis over the past two years.’
    • ‘Ali, however, was on good terms, both with the gatekeepers and the guards, both of whom hailed and harangued him in a friendly manner as he stopped briefly to speak with them.’
    • ‘The gatekeeper was sitting in a chair, fast asleep.’
    • ‘Her mother arrived at her side just as the gatekeeper swung the large wrought-iron gates into place.’
    • ‘When the litigant eventually asks the gatekeeper why no one else has sought admission, the gatekeeper provides an explanation.’
    • ‘The device will warn road users and gatemen of the approaching train by emitting a siren and through flashing lights.’
    • ‘With a glance over her shoulder, as the horse pounded forward without needing to be led, she could see two of the bumbling gatemen running after her while the other pair ran to the stables for horses.’
    • ‘Hidden in the shadows of the gate tower, the gatekeeper pushed the huge gate open.’
    • ‘Four uniformed guards stood outside a small gatekeeper's hut to the left of the road a few yards from the entrance to the fortress.’
    1. 1.1A person or thing that controls access to something.
      ‘GPs can act as gatekeepers, filtering demands made on hospital services’
      • ‘Western gatekeepers thus controlled the axis of appropriation.’
      • ‘All these stories involve media gatekeepers expressing anxiety about losing control of the gate.’
      • ‘Because the Internet operates without traditional media gatekeepers controlling what is said, freedom of speech is often the snarly sort.’
      • ‘A first gatekeeper, controlling the first router, and a second gatekeeper, controlling the second router, together mediate the process of setting up the call.’
      • ‘The gatekeeper will control whether family members speak openly and will also be the one who decides if the family returns for future sessions.’
  • 2An orange and brown European butterfly with small eyespots on the wings, frequenting hedgerows and woods.

    Also called hedge brown