Definition of keeper in English:



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

    ‘I would not stop him—I'm his wife, not his keeper’
    • ‘The Richards took over the Taranaki lighthouse in 1976 when previous keeper Charlie Mallowes died from a heart attack.’
    • ‘Looking after the health and welfare of their flocks should be a normal part of all poultry keepers' practices.’
    • ‘Lighthouse keepers and fisherman generally report them as they spend more time near the sea.’
    • ‘As the fairways are rapidly improving from the drought, no doubt the green keepers are managing to get the sprinklers working overtime.’
    • ‘Mr and Mrs Hudleston also became the keepers of some costumes used by the Ripon Sword Dancers in the early 1960s.’
    • ‘For the Brahmins are hereditary keepers and masters of the language, hymns and mantras of the universe.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Apparently customers are a big hassle to shop keepers and waiters in Europe.’
    • ‘You are not my keeper or my chaperone, and therefore you have no say in who I choose to speak to.’
    • ‘In some cases, the descendants of the keepers declared themselves to be the owners!’
    • ‘Many of the lighthouse keepers attended, as did their families and it was a great afternoon of reminiscing.’
    • ‘It will also be easier to trace the keepers of abandoned vehicles.’
    • ‘A handful of these caretakers are the keepers of historical film.’
    • ‘Well I am your protector, your keeper, advisor and friend.’
    • ‘On the granting of a firearms certificate ownership is lost and the user is simply the licensed keeper.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They visited the keeper of the jewels and Maria pretended to faint to cause a distraction.’
    • ‘Some pet keepers are bitten while handling their snakes in a drunken, drugged, tired, or emotional state, late at night.’
    • ‘The keeper of the vehicle was identified as the defendant's stepfather and he gave police his stepson's address.’
    guardian, protector, defender, guard, bodyguard, escort, minder, attendant, chaperone, carer, nursemaid, nurse
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    1. 1.1A guard at a prison or a museum.
      • ‘The prison keeper allowed many Christians in to visit Perpetua, Felicitas, and the four surviving young men.’
      • ‘Most were not sure what to do, and called for keepers or guards to apprehend her.’
      • ‘Perhaps, although this is a conjecture, his prison keepers would prefer that he use a readable form.’
      • ‘Prison stories abound, but the keepers of the prisons and the keepers of the information tell very different stories from the prisoners.’
      • ‘Inside Australian prisons the keepers and the kept eyed each other suspiciously waiting for some indication of the other's intentions.’
      curator, conservator, custodian, guardian, administrator, overseer
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    2. 1.2
      short for zookeeper
      • ‘Right now, the animal keepers from the circus stay at the zoo, attending to all the needs of the chimps.’
      • ‘Poor funding and underpaid animal keepers make the conditions for some of the animals almost unbearable.’
      • ‘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 keeper withdraws, prompting the animal to slowly return to a corner of the enclosure.’
      • ‘This makes them feel quite comfortable and they love walking up and down the enclosure, says one of the animal keepers, Mari.’
      • ‘Mony was born nine years ago at the zoo, and over time has become a favourite with the animal keepers.’
      • ‘She began to lose her sight five years ago, causing her to become timid, irritable and even attack animal keepers on occasion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The animal has been described as looking like a pipe cleaner by his keepers and joins animals including deer and reindeer.’
      • ‘According to animal keepers, hippos by nature require their ‘corner of the pool’ in the enclosure.’
      • ‘If the animal keepers find someone teasing the animals, they warn him or ask him to leave, they claim.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His most controversial policy is encouraging the keepers to develop close relationships with the animals.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3
      short for gamekeeper
      • ‘However, on a bad year, you are employing all your keepers and you are not getting any revenue.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In Scottish winters, while the rest of the country yearns for sun, the keepers on grouse moors pray for a deep, deep frost.’
      • ‘From the late 18th century, successive dukes commissioned images of members of their households, particularly the keepers and huntsmen.’
      • ‘Huntsmen and keepers came together and piled up the bodies.’
      • ‘Security experts also suggest that keepers tag and photograph their animals or implant microchip identification.’
      • ‘The park then chose another keeper to manage the tigers.’
      • ‘Primary responsibility for caring for animals resides with the farmers and the keepers who have demonstrated their commitment in this regard over the years.’
    4. 1.4
      short for goalkeeper
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To have a good team you have to have a good keeper and our goalkeeper is very good.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I just caught the ball perfectly and it somehow bounced over the keeper.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was the Blackburn keeper's second penalty save of the competition.’
      • ‘It is time a new young keeper was selected and given a fair run at the top.’
      • ‘The ball struck the underside of the bar and bounced clear with the keeper rooted to the spot.’
      • ‘With two excellent keepers and two quick strikers on offer it will be a case of who can make the most telling breakthrough?’
      • ‘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 has proved himself to be a top keeper since he has been in English football.’
      • ‘He rarely misses the target, which is worrying for all keepers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It would have been a very good save but it was one you'd expect an international keeper to make.’
      • ‘It's always nice when a fellow goalkeeper wins something because us keepers normally get overlooked in favour of strikers.’
      • ‘Sixty seconds later, he swerved away from the keeper's clawing gloves to stroke home his 21st goal of an astounding debut campaign.’
  • 2[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.’
  • 3A fish large enough to be kept when caught.

    • ‘We boxed seven keepers and tossed back about that many undersized fish, then moved several hundred yards to another brush pile.’
    • ‘Today, the bag limit on red snapper is four fish with a 16-inch minimum - sometimes, you're lucky to catch that many 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fishermen have made adjustments lately to keep more keepers and feed fewer to sharks.’
    • ‘Anglers need to be certain their keepers are legal’
    1. 3.1informal 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’
  • 4An object that keeps another in place, or protects something more fragile or valuable, in particular.

    1. 4.1A ring worn to keep a more valuable one on the finger.
    2. 4.2A bar of soft iron placed across the poles of a horseshoe magnet to maintain its strength.
  • 5American Football
    A play in which the quarterback runs with the ball instead of handing it off or passing it.