Definition of keep up appearances in English:

keep up appearances


  • Maintain an impression of wealth or well-being.

    • ‘My parents, brothers, and sisters would be here, so we had to keep up appearances.’
    • ‘It's clear now that these and other types in investment knew what was up, and it was in their best interests to keep up appearances, so they could clean up and get out in time.’
    • ‘We keep up appearances and avoid what might lead to conflict.’
    • ‘It is crumbling, but the screen keeps up appearances.’
    • ‘They despise each other, but of course must keep up appearances in front of the sensitive young mistress.’
    • ‘With an overriding mood of boredom, the boys and girls are almost totally incapable of talking to one another, and all their parents worry about is keeping up appearances.’
    • ‘It's the diplomatic version of distressed gentlefolk keeping up appearances, making ourselves ridiculous and obnoxious to our real equals, the other Europeans.’
    • ‘An example of a bad peace is keeping up appearances, pretending that everything is fine, when the truth is that it is not.’
    • ‘I hated that I was so worried about keeping up appearances with these people that I was lying to myself.’
    • ‘The only thing expressed in this election was a cry for help from a confused and lost nation, desperate to keep up appearances.’