keep

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1 keep /ˈkiːp/ verb
keeps; kept /ˈkɛpt/ ; keeping
1 keep
/ˈkiːp/
verb
keeps; kept /ˈkɛpt/ ; keeping
Learner's definition of KEEP
[+ object] : to continue having or holding (something) : to not return, lose, sell, give away, or throw away (something)
[linking verb] : to continue in a specified state, condition, or position
[+ object] : to cause (someone or something) to continue in a specified state, condition, or position
[+ object]
: to cause or force (someone) to stay in a place
: to cause (someone) to be late
[+ object]
: to do (something) continuously or again and again + -ing verb
often + on
: to cause (someone or something) to do something continuously or again and again + -ing verb
see also keep going (below)
[+ object]
: to do what is required by (something, such as a promise)
: to not tell (a secret)
somewhat formal : to act properly in relation to (something)
[+ object]
: to store (something) in a specified place
: to have or hold (something) for later use instead of using it now
[no object] of food : to continue to be in a good condition
sometimes used figuratively
[+ object] formal : to protect (someone) usually + from
[+ object] : to produce (something, such as a journal or record) by putting information in a book, document, etc., over a period of time
10 
[+ object]
: to take care of (something)
: to operate (something, such as a business) : manage
11 
[+ object] somewhat old-fashioned
: to have (something) available for use
: to have a continuing sexual relationship with (someone who is not your husband or wife)

How are you keeping?

British
used to ask if someone feels good, bad, happy, well, etc.

keep after

[phrasal verb]
keep after (someone) informal : to tell (someone) again and again to do something
keep (someone) after US : to require (a student) to stay at school after classes have ended

keep at

[phrasal verb]
keep at it : to continue doing or trying to do something
keep (someone) at it : to force or cause (someone) to continue doing something

keep back

[phrasal verb]
: to not go near something
keep (someone) back or keep back (someone)
: to not allow (someone) to go near something
US : to not allow (a student) to advance to the next grade level usually used as (be) kept back
British : to require (a student) to stay at school after classes have ended
keep (something) back or keep back (something) : to not allow (something) to appear or be known

keep company

[phrasal verb]
keep company with (someone) : to spend time with (someone) usually used figuratively
keep (someone) company : to spend time with (someone who would be alone if you were not there)

keep down

[phrasal verb]
: to stay close to the ground or floor
keep (someone) down : to prevent (someone) from succeeding, winning, etc.
keep (something) down or keep down (something)
: to prevent (something) from increasing or rising
: to prevent (something) from coming up from your stomach and into your mouth again
keep it down used to ask someone to be quiet

keep from

[phrasal verb]
keep from (doing something) or keep (someone or something) from (doing something) : to not do or experience (something) : to prevent or stop (someone or something) from doing or experiencing (something)
keep (something) from (someone) : to not tell (something) to (someone)

keep going

[phrasal verb]
: to continue moving forward
: to continue doing something
keep (someone) going : to make (someone) able to continue doing something at a difficult time
keep (something) going : to cause (something) to continue to exist or function

keep house

see 1house

keep in

[phrasal verb]
keep (something) in : to not show or express (something, such as an emotion)
keep (someone) in (something) : to continue to provide (someone) with (something needed or wanted)
keep in with (someone) chiefly British : to remain friendly with (someone)

keep off

[phrasal verb]
keep off (something) or keep (someone or something) off (something) : to stop or prevent (someone or something) from being on (something)
keep (weight) off : to continue to weigh a lower amount than you formerly weighed : to not regain weight that you have lost
keep off (something) : to not talk about (something)
keep (someone) off (something) : to prevent (someone) from talking about (something)

keep on

[phrasal verb]
informal : to continue happening, doing something, working, etc.
keep (someone) on : to continue to have (someone) as an employee
keep on at (someone) chiefly British, informal : to say the same thing to (someone) again and again in a way that is annoying

keep out

[phrasal verb]
: to not enter a place
keep out of (something)
: to not enter (a place)
: to not become involved in (something)
keep out (someone or something) or keep (someone or something) out (of a place) : to stop or prevent (someone or something) from entering (a place)

keep pace with

see 1pace

keep score

see 1score

keep tabs on

see 1tab

keep the faith

see faith

keep time

see 1time

keep to

[phrasal verb]
keep to (something)
: to stay in or on (something) : to not leave (something)
: to not go beyond (something)
: to act or behave in the way required by (something)
: to not move away from or change (something)
keep to yourself
or chiefly British keep yourself to yourself : to stay apart from other people : to avoid other people
keep (something) to yourself : to keep (something) secret

keep track

see 1track

keep up

[phrasal verb]
: to go or make progress at the same rate as others : to stay even with others in a race, competition, etc.
often + with
: to continue to know the newest information about something
: to continue happening
keep up with (someone) informal : to continue to talk to or write to (someone)
keep (someone) up : to prevent (someone) from sleeping
keep (something) up or keep up (something)
: to continue doing (something)
: to prevent (something) from getting worse, weaker, etc.
◊ If you keep up your end of something (such as a bargain or agreement) you do what you have promised or agreed to do.

keep up appearances

see appearance

keep up with the Joneses

see joneses

keep your chin up

see chin

keep your distance

see 1distance

keep your head

see 1head
2 keep /ˈkiːp/ noun
plural keeps
2 keep
/ˈkiːp/
noun
plural keeps
Learner's definition of KEEP
[count]
: the strongest part of a castle built in the Middle Ages

for keeps

informal
: forever or permanently
: with the understanding that you may keep what you win

your keep

: the amount of money you need to pay for food, clothing, a place to live, etc. used in the phrase earn your keep
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Comments & Questions
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