1. One that keeps, especially:
a. An attendant, a guard, or a warden.
b. One that has the charge or care of something: a lion keeper; the keeper of the budget.
c. A stationary fitting that catches or holds a moving part such as a latch or bolt.
d. Sports A goalkeeper.
2. Football A play made by the quarterback who keeps the ball after it is snapped and then runs with it.
3. Informal One that is worth keeping, especially a fish large enough to be legally caught and not returned to the water.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.