keep·​er | \ ˈkē-pər How to pronounce keeper (audio) \

Definition of keeper

1 : one that keeps: such as
a : protector
c : warden
d : custodian
e chiefly British : curator
2 : any of various devices for keeping something in position
3a : one suitable for or worth keeping: such as
(1) : a fruit or vegetable that keeps well
(2) : a fish large enough to be legally caught and kept
(3) : one having genuine or lasting merit their new album is a keeper
b : a domestic animal considered with respect to how easy it is to care for an easy keeper
5 : an offensive football play in which the quarterback runs with the ball

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Examples of keeper in a Sentence

Hold on to that boyfriend of yours—he's a keeper! how should I know where she is? I'm not her keeper

Recent Examples on the Web

The baby is close to the end of being weaned, and took bits of veggie treats from a keeper. Bradley J. Fikes, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Baby sloth enchants crowd at San Diego Zoo," 11 June 2019 Walleye - good with a few keepers caught on the south side of the lake while trolling with small crankbaits or nightcrawlers around 18 to 20 ft. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 The flamingo flew the coop the following year after his keepers failed to clip his wings. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Flamingo missing since 2005 spotted in Texas," 26 June 2018 The East Brother Light Station, on an unspoiled island in the San Pablo Bay, part of the larger San Francisco Bay, is seeking a new pair of lighthouse keepers. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Need a Fresh Start in 2019? California Has an Opening for a Lighthouse Keeper," 8 Jan. 2019 Experiencing violence at the hands of the state’s keepers made me realize that my role should be making space for others to realize that civic engagement can mean more than just voting. Clarissa Brooks, Teen Vogue, "Nonvoters Have Valid Criticisms of the United States Government," 16 Nov. 2018 Robotic shop-keepers and assistants are also around to help fill in the gaps, as are the usual messages and other detritus found on terminals. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Hands-on: Fallout 76 lets you bring some company to the Apocalypse," 8 Oct. 2018 The wagon is provided by the Door County Maritime Museum, which offers tours and climbs of the 89-foot lighthouse tower and keeper's quarters, built in 1869. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 spectacular Lake Michigan lighthouses to visit in Wisconsin," 12 July 2018 And sure enough, Trippier struck just five minutes into the game on a gorgeous direct free kick (that keeper Danijel Subasic perhaps could have done a bit more on to save). Grant Wahl,, "Persistent Croatia Comes Back on England to Secure First World Cup Final Berth," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'keeper.' 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 keeper

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for keeper

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for keeper

The first known use of keeper was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for keeper



English Language Learners Definition of keeper

: a person whose job is to guard or take care of something or someone
US, informal : something or someone that is worth keeping : something or someone that is good, valuable, etc.
American football : a play in which the quarterback runs with the ball


keep·​er | \ ˈkē-pər How to pronounce keeper (audio) \

Kids Definition of keeper

: a person who watches, guards, or takes care of something



Legal Definition of keeper

: one that takes care of and often is legally responsible for something a dog's keeper a keeper of the property

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More from Merriam-Webster on keeper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with keeper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for keeper

Spanish Central: Translation of keeper

Nglish: Translation of keeper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of keeper for Arabic Speakers

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behavior toward others

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