Definition of keeper in English:



  • 1A person who manages or looks after something or someone:

    ‘I can't stop him—I'm his wife, not his keeper’
    • ‘Mr and Mrs Hudleston also became the keepers of some costumes used by the Ripon Sword Dancers in the early 1960s.’
    • ‘As the fairways are rapidly improving from the drought, no doubt the green keepers are managing to get the sprinklers working overtime.’
    • ‘Keeping an eye on the sea has been the job of 14 successive keepers at Point Pinos Lighthouse since it opened in 1855 in Pacific Grove, northwest of Monterey.’
    • ‘Looking after the health and welfare of their flocks should be a normal part of all poultry keepers' practices.’
    • ‘You are not my keeper or my chaperone, and therefore you have no say in who I choose to speak to.’
    • ‘On the granting of a firearms certificate ownership is lost and the user is simply the licensed keeper.’
    • ‘For the Brahmins are hereditary keepers and masters of the language, hymns and mantras of the universe.’
    • ‘A handful of these caretakers are the keepers of historical film.’
    • ‘The Richards took over the Taranaki lighthouse in 1976 when previous keeper Charlie Mallowes died from a heart attack.’
    • ‘Lighthouse keepers and fisherman generally report them as they spend more time near the sea.’
    • ‘The keeper of the vehicle was identified as the defendant's stepfather and he gave police his stepson's address.’
    • ‘They visited the keeper of the jewels and Maria pretended to faint to cause a distraction.’
    • ‘Many of the lighthouse keepers attended, as did their families and it was a great afternoon of reminiscing.’
    • ‘Well I am your protector, your keeper, advisor and friend.’
    • ‘Apparently customers are a big hassle to shop keepers and waiters in Europe.’
    • ‘There are seven lighthouse keepers on Pengchia, with one acting as the chief, four as regular keepers and the remaining two serving on a rotational basis.’
    • ‘It will also be easier to trace the keepers of abandoned vehicles.’
    • ‘Some pet keepers are bitten while handling their snakes in a drunken, drugged, tired, or emotional state, late at night.’
    • ‘In some cases, the descendants of the keepers declared themselves to be the owners!’
    • ‘Those views were lost overnight when 6ft fences were installed on both sides of a bridge over the River Test to protect the river keeper and his family.’
    guardian, protector, defender, guard, bodyguard, escort, minder, attendant, chaperone, carer, nursemaid, nurse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A custodian of a museum or gallery collection:
      [as title] ‘he was Keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean Museum’
      • ‘Wheeler is now the keeper and head of entomology at the Natural History Museum in London.’
      • ‘The keeper of the William Morris Gallery, Norah Gillow, took a more positive view.’
      • ‘But Craig Barclay, keeper of numismatics at the Yorkshire Museum, said he was not surprised to see such a coin coming up for auction.’
      • ‘The keeper of special collections there, Richard Ovenden, has been striving mightily to raise the necessary millions.’
      • ‘A team headed by dinosaur expert and the museum's keeper of geology Dr Phil Manning, have prepared, conserved and interpreted the find.’
      • ‘The collection's keeper, Selena Skipwith, is buoyant in her determination that this should be only the start.’
      • ‘The coin had been earlier reported to Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, where it is being researched by keeper of coins Dr Mark Blackburn.’
      • ‘After the war he was appointed keeper of archaeology in the National Museum of Wales but in 1926 he left Wales to become Director of the London Museum.’
      • ‘The museum's keeper of environmental records Colin Howes was delighted to discover that it was the first recorded sighting of them in Doncaster.’
      • ‘The museum's keeper of natural sciences, Stephen Hewitt, said he was ‘delighted’ to be given the collection.’
      • ‘Daniel Smith, keeper of social history at the museum, tells me they recently received a large collection of old photographs featuring Poppy's work.’
      • ‘Chris Barclay, keeper of archaeology and curator of the museum, joined Hull Council only a few weeks ago but has already been awed by the scale of the development.’
      • ‘Christian Rumelin is assistant keeper of prints and twentieth-century art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.’
      • ‘For Lydia, the exhibition marks her first as assistant keeper at the museum, where her grandparents were once volunteer guides.’
      • ‘The new keeper of the mineral collection at the university, Dr. Bill Minarik, took attendees to view the collection.’
      • ‘The keeper of environmental records at the museum, Colin Howes, said the ring ouzel was the first specimen they had ever received from the South Yorkshire area.’
      • ‘Dr Newman taught at the University of Bangor, North Wales, and then returned to York to become keeper of military history at the Castle Museum.’
      • ‘The keeper of the Yorkshire Museum, who examined the skull, said that it did not belong to a fully grown person and might be medieval.’
      curator, conservator, custodian, guardian, administrator, overseer
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 An animal attendant employed in a zoo.
      • ‘The pets' corner was left in the temporary care of another council employee while the keeper took a break between June 20 and July 13.’
      • ‘Some of these plastic items are detected and removed by the animal keepers.’
      • ‘His most controversial policy is encouraging the keepers to develop close relationships with the animals.’
      • ‘The keepers are warning people not to play with the animal if they see it, as it has sharp canine teeth that can inflict serious bites.’
      • ‘Scientists and keepers try to help animals breed naturally.’
      • ‘Poor funding and underpaid animal keepers make the conditions for some of the animals almost unbearable.’
      • ‘She began to lose her sight five years ago, causing her to become timid, irritable and even attack animal keepers on occasion.’
      • ‘Some argue that the zoo staff, especially the animal keepers should be trained in the art of ‘presenting’ the animal to the visitors in an engaging manner.’
      • ‘The keeper withdraws, prompting the animal to slowly return to a corner of the enclosure.’
      • ‘When individual animals seem unable to reproduce, keepers can call in physiologists to diagnose possible biological problems.’
      • ‘I watched as people fed sweet popcorn to the animals as their supposed keepers stood idly watching.’
      • ‘According to animal keepers, hippos by nature require their ‘corner of the pool’ in the enclosure.’
      • ‘This makes them feel quite comfortable and they love walking up and down the enclosure, says one of the animal keepers, Mari.’
      • ‘Furthermore, animal keepers have been ordered to add herbal medicines to their animals food and water to build up their resistance to the heat.’
      • ‘The animal has been described as looking like a pipe cleaner by his keepers and joins animals including deer and reindeer.’
      • ‘Mony was born nine years ago at the zoo, and over time has become a favourite with the animal keepers.’
      • ‘Right now, the animal keepers from the circus stay at the zoo, attending to all the needs of the chimps.’
      • ‘In addition to providing objects and hiding food, some of the enrichment activities also help the keepers care for the animals.’
      • ‘It was only with great difficulty that the animal keepers were able to herd Rita away to safety on such occasions.’
      • ‘If the animal keepers find someone teasing the animals, they warn him or ask him to leave, they claim.’
    3. 1.3
      short for gamekeeper
      • ‘In Scottish winters, while the rest of the country yearns for sun, the keepers on grouse moors pray for a deep, deep frost.’
      • ‘Primary responsibility for caring for animals resides with the farmers and the keepers who have demonstrated their commitment in this regard over the years.’
      • ‘However, on a bad year, you are employing all your keepers and you are not getting any revenue.’
      • ‘Huntsmen and keepers came together and piled up the bodies.’
      • ‘The park then chose another keeper to manage the tigers.’
      • ‘From the late 18th century, successive dukes commissioned images of members of their households, particularly the keepers and huntsmen.’
      • ‘Now numerous pairs are established safely in the wild mountain country which was the home of their ancestors, and from which they were driven by the persecution of Victorian keepers and trophy hunters.’
      • ‘Security experts also suggest that keepers tag and photograph their animals or implant microchip identification.’
  • 2

    • ‘It is time a new young keeper was selected and given a fair run at the top.’
    • ‘Well as a wicket-keeper, did you often feel a greater affinity, or that you had more in common with the other keepers in opposition teams than with your own team-mates?’
    • ‘He quickly became a legend with his dazzling skills that left defenders flat footed and an eye for goal that made keepers wince.’
    • ‘He rarely misses the target, which is worrying for all keepers.’
    • ‘With an absent goalkeeper Bex Holt and Emma Rutherford both did well as substitute keepers and were named players of the match for bravely taking up the challenge.’
    • ‘It would have been a very good save but it was one you'd expect an international keeper to make.’
    • ‘I just caught the ball perfectly and it somehow bounced over the keeper.’
    • ‘The Italian has been one of the best keepers in English football for quite a while now and it would be cruel if he were to spend the majority of this season on the bench.’
    • ‘With two excellent keepers and two quick strikers on offer it will be a case of who can make the most telling breakthrough?’
    • ‘Sixty seconds later, he swerved away from the keeper's clawing gloves to stroke home his 21st goal of an astounding debut campaign.’
    • ‘When he reached the penalty area he drove the ball low to the home keeper's left only to be thwarted by an excellent save.’
    • ‘Two half chances at either end did not tax the defences or keepers.’
    • ‘Quick feet, lightening turns and shots taken early often mean that a half-chance is often nestling in the goal before the keeper has a sniff of it.’
    • ‘He has proved himself to be a top keeper since he has been in English football.’
    • ‘It was the Blackburn keeper's second penalty save of the competition.’
    • ‘To have a good team you have to have a good keeper and our goalkeeper is very good.’
    • ‘It's always nice when a fellow goalkeeper wins something because us keepers normally get overlooked in favour of strikers.’
    • ‘But they do a lot of work in training with me and we emphasise hitting the target and making the keeper work.’
    • ‘The keeper and a defender went for the same ball and then left it for each other, allowing the speculative shot to hit the empty net.’
    • ‘The ball struck the underside of the bar and bounced clear with the keeper rooted to the spot.’
  • 3A plain ring worn to preserve a hole in a pierced ear lobe; a sleeper.

    • ‘Occasionally, the patient may require a place keeper for the pierced location.’
    1. 3.1 A ring worn to keep a more valuable one on the finger.
    2. 3.2 A bar of soft iron placed across the poles of a horseshoe magnet to maintain its strength.
  • 4[with adjective] A food or drink that remains in a specified condition if stored:

    ‘hazelnuts are good keepers’
    • ‘Bramleys are good keepers so I will lay them out in cardboard boxes, not touching, and store them in the basement where it is cool and dry.’
  • 5A fish large enough to be kept when caught:

    ‘these lakes consistently give up healthy, pound-size keepers’
    • ‘And unlike most fishing for trout under the lights, almost all of the fish were keepers, easily measuring more than the 15-inch minimum.’
    • ‘Today, the bag limit on red snapper is four fish with a 16-inch minimum - sometimes, you're lucky to catch that many keepers.’
    • ‘Fishermen have made adjustments lately to keep more keepers and feed fewer to sharks.’
    • ‘Anglers need to be certain their keepers are legal’
    • ‘We boxed seven keepers and tossed back about that many undersized fish, then moved several hundred yards to another brush pile.’
    • ‘We boxed mine and released his; it was legal on the one-over clause, but the larger fish are not as tasty as the low-end keepers.’
    1. 5.1informal A person or thing that is valuable and to be cherished:
      ‘this disc is a keeper and one that belongs on every serious DVD collector's shelf’
      ‘if he's a good communicator and a great listener, he's a keeper’
  • 6American Football
    A play in which the quarterback receives the ball from the centre and runs with it.