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[kair-tey-ker] /ˈkɛərˌteɪ kər/
a person who is in charge of the maintenance of a building, estate, etc.; superintendent.
a person or group that temporarily performs the duties of an office.
British. a janitor.
a person who takes care of another.
involving the temporary performance of the duties of an office:
a caretaker government.
Origin of caretaker
1855-60; care + taker
Related forms
caretaking, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for care-taking
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mature in thought and care-taking beyond her years, she was still fond of out-door sports and merry times.

    Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton
  • Barbara was silent, and felt the shy, care-taking glance of her maid.

    John March, Southerner George W. Cable
  • She ignored the care-taking phrase as if she had not heard it.

    The King of Arcadia Francis Lynde
  • One of the best features of agricultural life consists in the great amount of care-taking which it imposes upon its followers.

    Domesticated Animals Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
  • Lindora did not count the interest on the purchase-money, or the taxes, or the repairs, or the winter care-taking.

    Imaginary Interviews W. D. Howells
  • He ate of Mother Allen's chicken-broth and of toast from Mattie's care-taking hand, and gradually assumed color and heart.

    Wayside Courtships Hamlin Garland
  • With a woman's care-taking instinct, she began to gather together the dishes on the table and prepare them for washing.

    A Tar-Heel Baron Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton
  • A care-taking hand caused order and refinement to reign everywhere.

  • Sudden and brilliant ideas came more seldom to Miss Bibby than to the children she was “care-taking.”

British Dictionary definitions for care-taking


a person who is in charge of a place or thing, esp in the owner's absence: the caretaker of a school
(modifier) holding office temporarily; interim: a caretaker government
(social welfare) a person who takes care of a vulnerable person, often a close relative See also carer
Derived Forms
caretaking, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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