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, janitor, porter [chiefly British]

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Examples of gatekeeper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For his part, O’Neill appeared focused Tuesday on defining the limits of his role as a gatekeeper. Jeremy Roebuck,, "Bill Cosby's lawyers, fearing #MeToo backlash, fight to keep 19 other accusers out of court," 6 Mar. 2018 The best museums are successfully reaching new audiences, telling untold stories and engaging fresh voices and perspectives beyond the historical gatekeepers of aesthetic value. WSJ, "What Place Has Politics in a House of Art?," 27 Dec. 2018 Oil is still, in many respects, the gatekeeper of climate policy. David Roberts, Vox, "California’s cap-and-trade system may be too weak to do its job," 12 Dec. 2018 In a year when people of color dominated critics' hearts and the box office, Hollywood gatekeepers continue to shun award-worthy performances in favor of old (read: white) fallbacks. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Screen Actors Guild Nominated Just One Woman of Color for an Individual Acting Award," 12 Dec. 2018 The internet has not, contra its early advertising, done away with gatekeepers or created an egalitarian meritocracy. David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018 Some senior aides now report directly to the president, a departure from earlier practice in which Mr. Kelly was the principal gatekeeper. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Kelly Agrees to Remain Chief of Staff Through 2020 at Trump’s Request," 31 July 2018 When Your Ex Starts Dating Again - YOUTUBE ONLY Get past the first gatekeeper. Malaika Jabali, Glamour, "'Hiring Bots' Might Be Responsible For You Getting Your Dream Job—Here’s How to Use Them to Your Advantage," 22 Oct. 2018 Namely: making the mobile web suck a little bit less without resorting to a centralized gatekeeper. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Google is giving up some control of the AMP format," 18 Sep. 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

15 Jan 2019

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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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