What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[kee-per] /ˈki pər/
a person who guards or watches, as at a prison or gate.
a person who assumes responsibility for another's behavior:
He refused to be his brother's keeper.
a person who owns or operates a business (usually used in combination):
a hotelkeeper.
a person who is responsible for the maintenance of something (often used in combination):
a zookeeper; a groundskeeper.
a person charged with responsibility for the preservation and conservation of something valuable, as a curator or game warden.
a person who conforms to or abides by a requirement:
a keeper of his word.
a fish that is of sufficient size to be caught and retained without violating the law.
Football. a play in which the quarterback retains the ball and runs with it, usually after faking a hand-off or pass.
something that serves to hold in place, retain, etc., as on a door lock.
something that lasts well, as a fruit.
an iron or steel bar placed across the poles of a permanent horseshoe magnet for preserving the strength of the magnet during storage.
Origin of keeper
1250-1300; Middle English keper. See keep, -er1
Related forms
keeperless, adjective
keepership, noun
underkeeper, noun
1. warden, jailer. 2. custodian, guardian. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for keeper
  • We can not be the zoo keeper of the planet and that a bird in a gilded cage is still a bird in a cage.
  • Their choice between holding up a shop keeper or killing an endangered animal depends on proximity and ease.
  • But if you then put it back to constant dark or dim light conditions, it immediately reverts to its endogenous time keeper.
  • It involves various aches and pains and requires a pad, tampon, or keeper to prevent any sort of staining on one's clothing.
  • The toll-keeper seemed to be also conscious of the touching and pitiful nature of the occasion.
  • The role you advocate above for the outside reader is that of examiner and gate-keeper.
  • Tina is keeper of the hens, who consider her garden their rightful domain.
  • The late game-keeper of the lord of the manor turned publican.
  • They are playing part in the opposing keeper's waking nightmare.
  • As an obsessive scrapbook journal-keeper, he had been staring his idea in the face.
British Dictionary definitions for keeper


a person in charge of animals, esp in a zoo
a person in charge of a museum, collection, or section of a museum
a person in charge of other people, such as a warder in a jail
a person who keeps something
a device, such as a clip, for keeping something in place
a soft iron or steel bar placed across the poles of a permanent magnet to close the magnetic circuit when it is not in use
Derived Forms
keeperless, adjective
keepership, 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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Contemporary definitions for keeper

See trapper's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for keeper

c.1300 (late 13c. as a surname), "one who has charge of some person or thing, warden," agent noun from keep (v.). Sense of "one who carries on some business" is from mid-15c. Sporting sense (originally cricket) is from 1744. Meaning "something (or someone) worth keeping" is attested by 1999. Brother's keeper is from Genesis iv:9.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for keeper



Someone or something worth keeping or trying to keep: This husband's a keeper

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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