gate·keep·er | \ ˈgāt-ˌkē-pər \

Definition of gatekeeper 

1 : one that tends or guards a gate

2 : a person who controls access

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Other words from gatekeeper

gatekeeping \ˈgāt-ˌkē-piŋ \ noun

Synonyms for gatekeeper


doorkeeper, doorman

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Examples of gatekeeper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

John Milton railed against this very thing in Areopagitica—the dangerous hubris of government playing the role of gatekeeper to the world of knowledge: Are twenty men enough to estimate all the genius and the good sense of England? Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Death of the Public Square," 6 July 2018 The intolerance of the traditional gatekeepers might have spurred a kind of militancy from thinkers (and fans) who’ve rarely been allowed in. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "Who Gets to Decide What Belongs in the ‘Canon’?," 30 May 2018 This is a worthy topic for discussion, since Leo is in fact drawing up the shortlist for Supreme Court nominations and has been a key player in The Federalist Society, an organization which is the gatekeeper for Republican court nominations. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Why all the anti-Catholic conspiracy-mongering?," 9 July 2018 Some senior aides now report directly to the president, a departure from an early practice in which Mr. Kelly was the principal gatekeeper to the Oval Office. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Trump Consults on Successors for Chief of Staff John Kelly," 28 June 2018 Nearly two-thirds of YouCanPlanForThis users are female, confirming the general understanding that women are traditionally the gatekeepers of family health. Robin Gelburd, STAT, "Website offers a living laboratory for examining health care prices and quality," 12 June 2018 The job is an important gatekeeper to the Oval Office, ensuring that executive orders, decision memos, bills, nominations and other actions are thoroughly vetted before reaching the president. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Rob Porter scandal, explained: Who is he, why he resigned, what his ex-wives say, more," 7 Feb. 2018 Remember, oils are only the gatekeepers, not producers, of hydration, so load up on humectants first, and then pile on the oil afterward to keep moisture from escaping. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Putting Oils on Your Face," 12 July 2018 Yet their names are not among the more than 58,000 inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington because the wall’s gatekeeper, the Department of Defense, says the men died outside the combat zone. Tylisa C. Johnson,, "74 sailors died during a Vietnam warfare exercise, but their names aren't on D.C. memorial," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gatekeeper.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gatekeeper

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for gatekeeper

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for gatekeeper

The first known use of gatekeeper was in 1572

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More Definitions for gatekeeper



English Language Learners Definition of gatekeeper

: a person who guards a gate


gate·keep·er | \ ˈgāt-ˌkē-pər \

Kids Definition of gatekeeper

: a person who guards a gate


gate·keep·er | \ -ˌkē-pər \

Medical Definition of gatekeeper 

: a health-care professional (as a primary care physician) who regulates access especially to hospitals and specialists managed care plans rely on a designated physician gatekeeper to orchestrate and control the health care of its enrollees —E. A. Halm et al

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