gate·​keep·​er | \ ˈgāt-ˌkē-pər How to pronounce gatekeeper (audio) \

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 How to pronounce gatekeeping (audio) \ 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

The admissions bribery scandal unfolding since March has cast a spotlight on the connections between athletic coaches and college gatekeepers. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Bribery scandal points to the athletic factor: A major force in college admissions," 13 June 2019 But much has changed during Patterson’s reign as a religious gatekeeper. Jonathan Merritt, Washington Post, "In a #Metoo moment, will Southern Baptists hold powerful men accountable?," 30 Apr. 2018 Few people are positioned to play as crucial a gatekeeper role in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination as former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, "Harry Reid’s New Role: Democratic Kingmaker and Peacemaker," 7 May 2019 Make no mistake, camp has always been a primarily homosexual schtick, yet gay men have been the gatekeepers of the camp canon for most of its history. Teen Vogue, "What Is Butchcamp? An Explainer by Way of 10 Past Met Gala Looks," 2 May 2019 Now, in the wake of #MeToo, the stories paint an eerily familiar picture: A powerful man takes advantage of his gatekeeper status to prey on vulnerable young women who were committed to their craft., "Why This Podcast Is Investigating Yoga's #MeToo Moment," 22 May 2018 Share Local Media works as a kind of gatekeeper, able to place like-minded brands together. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Why so many hip startups advertise with snail mail," 1 Nov. 2018 But now's a great time to update these internet gatekeepers. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Today's the Day to Replace That Busted Router and Upgrade Your Internet," 20 Feb. 2019 There would be no gatekeepers in the form of a traditional editorial board. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Book tells the inside story of how Reddit came to be the Internet’s “id”," 30 Dec. 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

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce gatekeeper (audio) \

Kids Definition of gatekeeper

: a person who guards a gate


gate·​keep·​er | \ -ˌkē-pər How to pronounce gatekeeper (audio) \

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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Comments on gatekeeper

What made you want to look up gatekeeper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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