keep1 [ kip ] (past tense and past participle kept [ kept ] ) verb ***
▸ 1 stay in state/position
▸ 2 (make) continue/repeat
▸ 3 continue to have
▸ 4 store
▸ 5 (make) stay within limit
▸ 6 do what you said
▸ 7 provide money for
▸ 8 take care of animals
▸ 9 stay in good condition
▸ 10 for asking if someone is well
▸ 11 delay someone
1. ) intransitive to stay in a state, position, or place without changing or moving:
Keep still while I brush your hair.
People kept quiet because they were afraid of being found.
The kids keep cool by swimming in the river.
I walked along the hall, keeping close to the side.
a ) transitive to make someone or something stay in a state, position, or place:
Keep her warm and give her plenty to drink.
Christina kept her voice low.
The police tried to keep the two rival groups apart.
We want to keep the training school open.
Why can't we just keep things simple?
b ) transitive keep someone/something under something to continue to watch or control something or someone:
The patient is being kept under observation.
keep something under control: They do not understand the importance of keeping costs under control.
2. ) transitive keep someone doing something to make someone continue doing something:
Sorry to keep you waiting.
She kept me talking for forty-five minutes.
a ) intransitive or transitive used when giving directions, to tell someone to continue in a particular direction:
keep right/left/straight on: Don't go left down Maple Road, keep straight on.
keep on/going: Keep on until you reach the lights.
b ) transitive keep doing something to do something many times or to continue doing it:
I keep on telling you but you won't listen.
Keep taking the tablets.
I keep forgetting to turn the burglar alarm on.
c ) transitive keep something doing something to make something continue to operate or exist:
We need more money to keep the farm going.
3. ) transitive to continue to have or own something:
I think we should keep this one car and sell the others.
a ) used when you allow someone else to have something:
I've got two copies, you can keep that one.
She told the waiter to keep the change.
b ) used about things that are important to you:
How can I stay here and keep my self-respect?
Most employees will keep their jobs when the company changes hands.
4. ) transitive to store something in a particular place so that you know where it is:
Read this letter carefully, and keep it in a safe place.
Where do you keep the detergent?
a ) to store information by writing it or putting it into a computer:
We keep all these transactions on file.
keep a record/keep records: Some companies do not keep detailed records.
keep a diary/journal: Every member of the group has to keep a diary.
5. ) transitive to control something so that it stays within a limit:
Expenses must be kept to a minimum.
a ) intransitive keep within to stay within a limit:
I am trying to keep within a budget.
6. ) transitive to do what you said you would do:
If you cannot keep your appointment, please let us know.
keep a promise: I have tried to keep my promise.
keep your word: He promised the family, and I think he will keep his word.
─ opposite BREAK
7. ) transitive to provide money for yourself or someone else, in order to pay for the food, clothes, and other things that you or they need:
She keeps the family on two hundred dollars a week.
keep someone in something (=pay for them to buy it): His pay doesn't even keep the family in food.
8. ) transitive to own animals and take care of them:
A few cows are kept to provide milk, cheese, and cream.
I have been keeping tropical fish for twenty years.
9. ) intransitive if food or other substances keep for a particular period of time, they stay in good condition for that period of time:
Perfume doesn't keep indefinitely, you know.
keep for: The cranberry sauce will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator.
10. ) intransitive always progressive SPOKEN used for asking if someone is well:
Are you keeping well?
How are you keeping?
11. ) transitive SPOKEN to delay someone:
What kept you?
I won't keep you long.
keep at it
to continue doing something even if you want to stop:
The secret of dieting is to keep at it.
keep going
1. ) to continue to do something although it is difficult:
They forced themselves to keep going even though they felt exhausted.
2. ) to continue moving without stopping:
The truck kept going and disappeared from view.
keep something to yourself
to not tell anyone else about something:
I want you to keep this to yourself!
keep yourself to yourself
to stay alone or with your family rather than spending time with other people:
They were a quiet couple who kept themselves to themselves.
you can't keep a good man/woman down SPOKEN
used when someone who you like or approve of has managed to deal with criticism or a difficulty
,keep a`way phrasal verb intransitive or transitive
keep someone/something away to avoid someone or something, or to make someone else do this:
I've told him to keep away, but he won't listen.
keep away from: You should keep away from fried foods.
You can't keep the kids away from the computer.
,keep `back phrasal verb transitive
1. ) to not tell someone something or not show how you feel:
He said he was fine, but I knew he was keeping something back.
2. ) to keep part of something so that you can use it later:
Keep back some strawberries for decoration.
3. ) if you keep back laughter or tears, you stop yourself from laughing or crying:
She struggled to keep back her tears.
4. ) MAINLY BRITISH to keep part of an amount of money that belongs to someone or is owed to them
,keep `down phrasal verb transitive
1. ) to control something and prevent it from increasing in size or number:
We have to try and keep our costs down.
The cats help to keep down the rats.
2. ) to stop someone from achieving what they are capable of achieving:
Even if you're intelligent, they still try to keep you down.
3. ) to succeed in keeping food in your stomach although you feel as if you want to VOMIT:
I'd eat something if I thought I could keep it down.
keep it down SPOKEN
used for telling someone to be quieter:
Keep it down, I'm trying to sleep.
`keep from phrasal verb transitive
1. ) keep someone/something from doing something to prevent someone from doing something or prevent something from happening:
These worries kept her from sleeping properly.
The troops withheld fire to keep the situation from escalating.
2. ) keep something from someone to not tell someone something:
I kept the news from him for a while.
,keep `in with phrasal verb transitive MAINLY BRITISH
keep in with someone to stay friendly with someone, especially someone who can help you
,keep `off phrasal verb transitive keep off something
1. ) to not touch something or prevent something from touching something:
Keep the flies off the food.
Keep your hands off, it's mine.
2. ) to not go onto a particular area of land:
Dogs must be kept off the beach.
Keep off the grass.
3. ) to avoid particular things, such as foods or subjects of conversation:
I'm trying to keep off fatty foods.
keep someone off something: Keep him off politics, for goodness sake.
,keep `on phrasal verb
1. ) transitive keep on doing something to continue doing something:
My sister kept on asking me question after question.
2. ) transitive to continue to employ someone:
Only highly skilled people were kept on after the merger.
3. ) intransitive INFORMAL to continue talking about something in a way that annoys people:
keep on about: I don't know why you keep on about this.
,keep `out phrasal verb transitive
keep someone/something out to prevent someone or something from entering a place:
Cars should be kept out of the national park.
keep out
used on signs to tell people not to go into a place
,keep `out of phrasal verb transitive
keep out of something to not become involved with something:
You keep out of this. It's none of your business.
`keep to phrasal verb transitive
1. ) keep something to something to prevent an amount or number from passing a limit:
You should keep your intake of alcohol to two drinks per day.
2. ) keep to something to follow an agreement or a rule, by doing what you should do or what you said you would do:
Try to keep to a regular timetable when you travel overseas.
3. ) keep to something to stay on a path, road, etc. when you are going somewhere:
You must keep to the path.
They kept to the side of the field.
4. ) keep to something to write or talk about the subject you have started to talk about, and not any other:
I wish he'd just keep to the subject.
,keep `up phrasal verb
1. ) intransitive to move at the same speed as someone or something:
Try to keep up!
keep up with someone: He had to hurry to keep up with her.
a ) to change or learn at the same speed as other people or things:
By studying hard she managed to keep up.
keep up with someone: We always try to keep up with our competitors.
2. ) intransitive keep up with to continue to learn about something:
We try to keep up with what's happening.
3. ) transitive to continue to do something:
We're on a winning streak hopefully we can keep it up.
Keep up the good work.
The unions continued to keep up pressure for higher wages.
a ) to continue to pretend that something is true:
She tried to appear cheerful but couldn't keep it up.
His family kept up the pretence that he had been sick.
4. ) transitive keep someone up to prevent someone from going to bed:
It's late, I'd better not keep you up any longer.
keep 2 [ kip ] noun
1. ) uncount the cost of the food and the other things such as clothes that you need to live:
We only need two rooms and our keep.
earn your keep: Paul earns his keep by helping his elderly landlord.
2. ) count a large strong tower in the center of a castle
for keeps INFORMAL
for ever or for always:
Once the army moves in, it will be there for keeps.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Keep — (k[=e]p), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Kept} (k[e^]pt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Keeping}.] [OE. k[=e]pen, AS. c[=e]pan to keep, regard, desire, await, take, betake; cf. AS. copenere lover, OE. copnien to desire.] 1. To care; to desire. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — [kiːp] verb kept PTandPP [kept] 1. [transitive] to store something that will be useful: • The Credit Reference Agency keeps files on individuals debt records. • You should keep a supply of forms. 2 …   Financial and business terms

  • Keep — Keep, v. i. 1. To remain in any position or state; to continue; to abide; to stay; as, to keep at a distance; to keep aloft; to keep near; to keep in the house; to keep before or behind; to keep in favor; to keep out of company, or out reach.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — vb 1 Keep, observe, celebrate, solemnize, commemorate are comparable when they mean to pay proper attention or honor to something prescribed, obligatory, or demanded (as by one s nationality, religion, or rank), but they vary widely in their… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • keep — [kēp] vt. kept, keeping [ME kepen < OE cœpan, to behold, watch out for, lay hold of, akin to MLowG kapen, ON kopa, to stare at < ? IE base * ĝab , to look at or for] 1. to observe or pay regard to; specif., a) to observe with due or… …   English World dictionary

  • keep — ► VERB (past and past part. kept) 1) have or retain possession of. 2) retain or reserve for use in the future. 3) put or store in a regular place. 4) (of a perishable commodity) remain in good condition. 5) continue in a specified condition,… …   English terms dictionary

  • Keep — Keep, n. 1. The act or office of keeping; custody; guard; care; heed; charge. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Pan, thou god of shepherds all, Which of our tender lambkins takest keep. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of being kept; hence, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — keep; green·keep·er; house·keep; house·keep·er; keep·able; keep·er·ing; keep·er·ship; keep·sake; store·keep; keep·er; …   English syllables

  • Keep — 〈f. 20; Seemannsspr.〉 Kerbe, Rille * * * Keep, die; , en [aus dem Niederd. < mniederd. kēp, wohl verw. mit ↑ kappen] (Seemannsspr.): Rille, Kerbe (in einer Boje, einem Block, Mast o. Ä.), die einem darumgelegten Tau Halt gibt. * * * I Keep   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • keep — I (continue) verb be constant, be steadfast, carry forward, carry on, endure, extend, forge ahead, go on, keep going, last, lengthen, live on, maintain, move ahead, never cease, perpetuate, perseverare, persevere, persist, press onward, progress …   Law dictionary

  • keep — The construction keep + object + from + ing verb is idiomatic in current English: • His hands held flat over his ears as if to keep his whole head from flying apart Martin Amis, 1978. The intransitive use of keep + from + ing verb is recorded in… …   Modern English usage

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