keep·​er | \ ˈkē-pər \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Rifield was an unofficial historian of the Vogue brand, as well as a keeper of its institutional memory. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Remembering the Fashion Figures We Lost in 2018," 3 Dec. 2018 Miss Violet, Miss Emily’s daughter and the current keeper of the family secret, now manages the local hot spot with her relatives. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Vacation Like the Royal Family in the Bahamas," 30 Aug. 2018 Amsterdam’s canals are dotted with little houses that at one point in time served as living quarters for bridge keepers, the people tasked with monitoring boat traffic for the city’s more than 1,200 canals. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Amsterdam’s coolest new hotel is a network of revamped bridge houses," 12 July 2018 And there was a lexicon to learn: elevenses, drives, beaters, keepers, loaders. David Usborne, Town & Country, "The Mysterious Case of the Parnham House Fire," 29 May 2018 One of the world’s most powerful brothel keepers was eager to bare all. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Infamous madam to the stars was willing to spill celebrities' secrets for book about her wild days," 15 Aug. 2018 But the ball hit the keeper on the palms, bounced off and looped over his head and into the net. Stephen Wade,, "France defeat Uruguay to reach World Cup semifinals," 6 July 2018 The keeper released the ball and needed to palm the rebound away from the attackers after a spectacular dive. Houston Chronicle, "Mexico, Sweden advance from group stage; defending World Cup champ Germany eliminated," 27 June 2018 The ball bounced off the keeper’s chest, but Avalos was right there to put the rebound into the net. Dave Daniel,, "Daily Pilot Cup: Rea opens with dominating win over Sonora," 31 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of keeper

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about keeper

Statistics for keeper

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for keeper

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for keeper



English Language Learners Definition of keeper

: a person whose job is to guard or take care of something or someone

: 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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on keeper

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


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!