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gate +‎ keep, as back-formation from gatekeeper.


gatekeep (third-person singular simple present gatekeeps, present participle gatekeeping, simple past and past participle gatekept)

  1. (sociology) To limit (sometimes manipulatively, rather than directly) how much role another party, often a spouse, has in some task.
  2. To control or limit access to something.


gatekeep (plural gatekeeps)

  1. A gatekeeper.
    • 1949, Laverne Gay, Wine of Ssatan a Novel of the First Crusade, page 129:
      Similar remarks had passed the cherry-stained lips a hundred times, and this one was brought on just after the gatekeep at the north postern of Bull Joy had slyly given the wink behind "her husband's" broad back.
    • 1969, Donald M. Hines, Dust Devils in the Great Desert:
      A gentleman stopped his horse at a toll-gate and not seeing the gatekeep went into the house.
    • 1987, Maggie Osborne, Chase the Heart, page 278:
      Though there was a moment of anxiety, a generous bribe persuaded the gatekeep to overlook their expired passports and they rode into Calais.
    • 2017, Jeannie Troll, A Clever Girl:
      “At least those doxies don't fancy themselves the gatekeeps of God, like the priest.” Margit said.