1. a person in charge of a gate, usually to identify, count, supervise, etc., the traffic or flow through it.
  2. guardian; monitor: the gatekeepers of Western culture.


  1. a person who has charge of a gate and controls who may pass through it
  2. any of several Eurasian butterflies of the genus Pyronia, esp P. tithonus, having brown-bordered orange wings with a black-and-white eyespot on each forewing: family Satyridae
  3. a manager in a large organization who controls the flow of information, esp to parent and subsidiary companies

1570s, from gate + keeper. Figurative use by 1872.

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