Definition of keep in US English:

keep

verb

[with object]
  • 1Have or retain possession of.

    ‘my father would keep the best for himself’
    ‘she had trouble keeping her balance’
    • ‘There will also be a wide range of high quality locally produced crafts, great to keep or to give as gifts!’
    • ‘And in return the councils can keep a share of the extra revenue raised through business tax to spend in their areas.’
    • ‘If she keeps her seat at the local elections, she will be made mayor on May 17, with her husband Mike as Mayor's Consort.’
    • ‘He is having trouble keeping his charges' attention while she bobs and weaves in the background.’
    • ‘I have a wife and one-year old baby that I have to provide for, and right now that means keeping my third-shift convenience store job.’
    • ‘She must have loved him very much as she kept every diary and letter he wrote from 1906 until he died.’
    • ‘Mr Taylor said Brown had told him it was a new year so he intended to stay out of trouble and to keep his job.’
    • ‘Key to overturning Labour's landslides was to remain the party willing to allow people to keep more of their own money.’
    • ‘And on the following Friday night, they kept their nerve to win a hugely-physical dogfight.’
    • ‘The office has also had trouble keeping multicultural admissions officers more than two years.’
    • ‘They may agree to match or better the quote in order to keep your business.’
    • ‘If I'd kept the house for just 3 more years it would have doubled in price.’
    • ‘How do some of these individuals keep their positions of employment I wonder?’
    • ‘Ultimately though, Edwards had just too much speed and he kept his composure to win the day and the season.’
    • ‘I check to see what the best rates are and challenge my lender to keep my business by giving me a better deal.’
    • ‘Good time to drink, he thought, heading to the bar, and leaving Ada to keep a table by the dance floor.’
    • ‘Allotment gardeners who won their fight to keep their rented plots may now bid to buy them outright.’
    • ‘He then ordered two cheese burgers and a cola, gave me all his money, and told me to keep the change.’
    • ‘I had trouble keeping my balance because I had an open soda pop can in my hands so I had to go slower.’
    • ‘Then with a patronizing tone they tell me that I can keep the change.’
    1. 1.1 Retain or reserve for use in the future.
      ‘return one copy to me, keeping the other for your files’
      • ‘Other ‘surplus money’ was being kept aside for classroom improvements, said Mr Jackson.’
      • ‘Even so, advisers recommend taking photographs of valuable possessions and keeping receipts for as many things as possible.’
      • ‘Are you keeping a reserve of under-worked staff on roll to tap into, in the event of an upswing?’
      • ‘I hope someone is planning to keep this stuff for future historians.’
      • ‘Less data is being deleted and more data is being kept for longer periods of time.’
      • ‘Three crops a year are harvested to provide enough rice for the population, and the government keeps surpluses stored for times of drought.’
      • ‘This powder can be kept for long periods of time and is taken along on a journey.’
      • ‘Some messages are important and need to be kept for future reference.’
      • ‘The fact that they were twice baked and very dry meant that they could be kept for long periods and were well adapted for use by travellers.’
      • ‘Most tax advisers recommend keeping copies of your returns and supporting documents for at least six years.’
      • ‘It seems people love to hoard them and keep them for the future.’
      • ‘She added that the 150000 that was set aside in the estimates should be kept in reserve for phase two.’
      • ‘Regular use of bronchodilators should therefore be avoided and should be kept in reserve for breakthrough wheezing.’
      • ‘Do you think it is appropriate to keep skeletons for future scientific work?’
      • ‘The records belong to the city and are kept in trust for future generations.’
      retain, hold on to, keep for oneself, retain possession of, keep possession of, retain in one's possession, keep hold of, not part with, hold fast to, hold back
      reserve, keep in reserve, put by, save, save up, store up, put aside, lay aside, set aside, hoard, treasure
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Put or store in a regular place.
      ‘the stand where her umbrella was kept’
      • ‘The letters, totalling 52 pages, were found in the west of Ireland about 30 years ago and kept in a safe ever since.’
      • ‘Frustratingly for the family it was the first time they had stored the bikes inside the shed after previously keeping them inside the house.’
      • ‘It would appear that somebody knew he kept money in his house.’
      • ‘Spread your possessions about - keep your money and mobile phone separate.’
      • ‘Saddles were carefully kept in a spare stall and bridles were precisely suspended in the correct places.’
      • ‘If luck was needed, Stewart had that covered, too, courtesy of his mascot Fred - a toy skeleton that he kept in his glove bag.’
      • ‘An intricately carved wooden table is kept in between the plush sofas.’
      • ‘Mr Caswell kept some furniture and clothing at the flat but did not live there.’
      • ‘National service is compulsory and all adult males are members of the Army Reserve, keeping a rifle at home.’
      • ‘This manuscript is on the shelf where only books by family members are kept.’
      • ‘A key safe is a secure box, opened by keying in a secret number, that is kept outside your house.’
      • ‘Plants kept on the windowsill will benefit from hardening off before they are planted out.’
      • ‘The other guys in your unit keep pinching your bike for odd jobs throughout the day, and you wouldn't mind keeping it stored underneath a desk.’
      • ‘If the fern is planted in a pot and kept in semi shade or even in a place where it gets some more sunlight, you will soon find the plant spreading around.’
      • ‘It's usually kept on one particular shelf, but when he asked me for it, I looked, and it was gone.’
      • ‘A second briefcase was kept under the White House in a secret bunker in case of nuclear attack.’
      • ‘Everyone else decided to lounge around the living room where the beautiful sofas were kept.’
      • ‘The books are lovingly maintained, and kept on shelves behind a protective screen.’
      • ‘She pulled and guided her horse to the barn where the saddles were kept, moving swiftly as she worked.’
      • ‘Bags are a girl's best friend, allowing women to keep their must-have possessions close at hand.’
      store, house, stow, keep a place for, put away, place, put, deposit, stack, pile
      View synonyms
  • 2Continue or cause to continue in a specified condition, position, course, etc.

    ‘keep left along the wall’
    with object and complement ‘she might be kept alive artificially by machinery’
    no object ‘she could have had some boyfriend she kept quiet about’
    • ‘But for some prisoners a good book can be the only thing keeping them sane.’
    • ‘For security reasons, however, the exact location of the deposits is kept secret for the time being.’
    • ‘No longer can they depend upon their mother to feed them or protect them, or keep them warm.’
    • ‘She will also need some reassurance that in future she will be kept safe and that such an event will not repeat itself.’
    • ‘Bella didn't know what to say to that, so she kept silent.’
    • ‘Food that needs to be kept fresh can be stored in containers too, meaning less plastic wrap or foil is needed.’
    • ‘His condition became so bad he had to be kept alive on a ventilator.’
    • ‘He cannot even walk on his own and he is barely kept alive by a variety of mechanical devices.’
    • ‘Keeping all his constituents happy is an all but impossible task.’
    • ‘We have to do what needs to be done in order to keep our secrets safe.’
    • ‘The continuing cold weather has kept mildew levels very low.’
    • ‘The exact location of the cave will be kept secret to protect the art, which is in pristine condition.’
    • ‘The wardens would also have had a general duty of care to keep the area clear of litter to help improve the look of the site.’
    • ‘She keeps the house clean and beautifully arranged.’
    • ‘The thick layer of leaves keeps the ground relatively wet, so Bob usually waits until June to plow the leaves under and then plant hay.’
    • ‘The miracle of modern medicine may keep a loved one alive despite a terminal condition.’
    • ‘It was used in the days before refrigerators to keep food cool and store ice blocks gathered in winter.’
    • ‘More hybrids are expected in the near future and competition should keep prices realistic.’
    • ‘The cemetery has been kept in excellent condition over the past number of years and it is hoped that this will be the case again this year.’
    • ‘The beaches are always kept in a pristine condition by the many vendors who are there to look after all your needs.’
    remain, continue to be, stay, carry on being, go on being, persist in being, not cease to be
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1no object, with present participle Continue doing or do repeatedly or habitually.
      ‘he keeps going on about the murder’
      • ‘The doctor just keeps telling me the lab results are normal.’
      • ‘As I pulled up in the car park, a wasp launched itself at the windscreen and kept repeatedly battering itself against the glass.’
      • ‘Like a gramophone stuck on a groove, he kept asking me why Wen shouted at him.’
      • ‘I have some biggish plans for an upgrade in the very near future, so keep checking back.’
      • ‘He was always determined to be modern; not to repeat himself but to keep pushing boundaries.’
      • ‘The strange message kept being repeated over and over again for about 15 seconds at 1.55 am each day.’
      • ‘I'd need a thesaurus handy just to make sure I don't keep repeating myself.’
      • ‘But as the Federal Reserve keeps raising rates, such buys become less attractive.’
      • ‘There was an adorable little boy living next door to us, who would keep saying hello repeatedly until we said hello back.’
      • ‘He is half the size of some of the others but he is so tough and such a good jumper that he keeps winning.’
      • ‘They were asked to put forward a defence but kept delaying it.’
      • ‘I had to keep telling myself to stay focused and remain calm through this whole ordeal.’
      • ‘The Blues kept digging deep trying to keep themselves in contention.’
      • ‘It is important to keep looking to the future.’
      • ‘We need to keep picking up points to stay clear of the relegation zone.’
      • ‘We kept driving, past cedar thickets and a pasture studded with blooming prickly pear cactus.’
      • ‘She kept repeating it over and over, like I'd asked her to drive me to Uranus or the Arctic Circle.’
      • ‘The managers thought she was up to something, after she kept screwing up repeatedly.’
      • ‘We like the idea of that because it reminds us to think of the future rather than keep looking to the past.’
      • ‘He kept repeating the same thing, that it had nothing to do with him.’
      persist in, go on, keep on, carry on, continue, do something constantly, do something incessantly, do something continually, not stop doing something, persevere
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2no object (of a perishable commodity) remain in good condition.
      ‘fresh ginger does not keep well’
      • ‘Shelf life varies from product to product, but most items will keep, if stored properly, for a minimum of one month.’
      • ‘Pasta will keep for months in the cupboard.’
      • ‘The mix keeps for two to three months at room temperature.’
      • ‘It keeps very well if stood upright in a jug containing a little water, and refrigerated.’
      • ‘This product does not keep, and is mainly produced in the autumn and winter.’
      • ‘The batter keeps in the fridge for up to a month; when you're ready to enjoy, just pour it into a tin, bake and you've got a hot muffin in about 25 minutes.’
      • ‘The nice thing about ginger is that it keeps well.’
    3. 2.3 Retain one's place in or on (a seat or saddle, the ground, etc.) against opposition or difficulty.
      ‘are you able to keep your saddle?’
      • ‘Deirdre kept her ground and the clashing of metal against metal was heard as she blocked his attack.’
      • ‘He kept his ground as his attacker walked towards him.’
      • ‘She swayed from side to side upon the animal's broad back, and her ruddy face was redder than usual with the effort of keeping her seat.’
      • ‘Her arms flailed up and around in a desperate and truly valiant bid to keep her seat.’
      • ‘Tamora kept her seat, one hand free to wield her sword with unnervingly good aim.’
    4. 2.4 Make (someone) do something for a period of time.
      ‘I have kept her waiting too long’
      • ‘That might not have mattered, except that they kept me waiting for about 20 minutes.’
      • ‘My most sincere apologies for keeping you waiting so long!’
      • ‘He enters, apologises bluntly for keeping us waiting, and says he's extremely busy, so let's get on with it.’
      • ‘They kept me waiting for nearly two hours and then I was taken into an office and told to empty my pockets.’
      • ‘I did not wish to anger the King any more by keeping him waiting.’
      • ‘He apologised for keeping me waiting (although it was our photographer who had delayed him) and swiftly swept away his papers to make way for me.’
      • ‘She kept me waiting for what felt like an eternity but was probably about 15/20 minutes.’
      • ‘And keeping people waiting is part of what stardom is about, which is why he showed up over half an hour late without anyone seeming to mind.’
      • ‘The waitresses ran a fairly slick and professional service, neither keeping us waiting nor hovering for our orders before we were ready.’
      • ‘I didn't want to be responsible for what might happen if I kept him waiting any longer.’
      • ‘He kept me waiting at the counter, having forgotten that there was meant to be an author around.’
      • ‘The man who created some of the most memorable images of the Sixties arrives early for his interview, then apologises for keeping me waiting.’
      • ‘You may have guessed that this is not the first time that he kept me waiting.’
      • ‘I was also glad that she hadn't kept me waiting since the sky was overcast and it was slightly chilly.’
      • ‘She could see he was upset so she walked up to him, hugged him and apologized for keeping him waiting.’
      • ‘I'm sorry to have kept you waiting, but I was setting up a delicate experiment in the observatory.’
      • ‘It's a habit he shares with many film producers: he keeps less important mortals waiting, and arrives an hour after our interview was scheduled.’
      • ‘They then kept me waiting for 20 minutes while they obviously checked out my story.’
      • ‘The company kept us waiting for the better part of an hour, but finally their vehicle arrived.’
      • ‘He certainly kept us waiting but he got there in the end.’
    5. 2.5 Delay or detain; cause to be late.
      ‘I won't keep you, I know you've got a busy evening’
      • ‘She smiled graciously and said, ‘I mustn't keep you’ and she was gone.’
      • ‘You must be quick, and not keep me long.’
      • ‘‘I don't want to keep you,’ she apologized. ‘Guess you'd best get outside.’’
      detain, cause to stay, cause to wait, keep waiting, keep back, hold back, restrain
      View synonyms
    6. 2.6archaic Continue to follow (a way, path, or course)
      ‘the friars and soldiers removed, keeping their course toward Jericho’
      • ‘Our protection was speed and keeping a zig-zag course.’
      • ‘Still further westward on they keep their way.’
      • ‘Keeping their course on the north side of the lake until they reached its head, they started up the mountain.’
      • ‘They kept the track, and rolled off mile after mile before daylight in an effort to catch up to the leaders.’
  • 3Provide for the sustenance of (someone)

    ‘he had to keep his large family in the manner he had chosen’
    • ‘All the families of the O'Reilly's Club kept a player each in their home, cooked for them and looked after them well.’
    • ‘It describes a man who has done everything he possibly can to save his job and keep his family in the way that they have expected to live.’
    • ‘My mother had to sell me as she could not afford to keep me any longer.’
    • ‘Mrs. Brown had been unable to keep her children and had given her two little girls away.’
    • ‘He worked hard to keep his family - like everybody else.’
    provide for, support, provide food for, provide sustenance for, provide board for, feed, keep alive, maintain, sustain, subsidize, finance
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Provide (someone) with a regular supply of a commodity.
      ‘the money should keep him in cigarettes for a week’
      • ‘Our stocks were wiped out on the first day and it was a full time job keeping the children supplied with their favourite which was bananas.’
      • ‘My mother keeps me well in stock of incense, candles, charcoal blocks, and altar covers.’
      • ‘But let's not forget the stores that kept the rest of Manchester's population in clothes.’
      • ‘You will also need a support team, involving two drivers to transport you and your equipment around the country as well as keeping the team supplied with plenty of food and water.’
      • ‘Fred proved to be an excellent sponsor, keeping me stocked with all the spare parts I needed.’
      • ‘Apart from keeping us supplied with bread, fruit and hot drinks, the Prodive staff would change our cylinders for us, and I was impressed by the care they took with our cameras.’
      • ‘There was Bill Amon who also kept bees and kept us supplied in honey - that's how I got my love of honey.’
      • ‘But, above all, it has kept me supplied with the materials essential to my trade as a historian.’
      • ‘His wife kept him supplied with beers and food, and there he sat, happy as a hippo in a waterhole.’
      • ‘I can only hope she was kept well supplied with all the little comforts she missed.’
      • ‘When Ellen was ill friends kept the family supplied with soup, eggs, jellies and wine.’
      • ‘We always planted a ridge of turnips and a ridge of cabbage to keep us supplied with vegetables.’
      • ‘It is this large distribution network that keeps our first-hand bookshops in fresh stock.’
    2. 3.2 Own and look after (an animal) for pleasure or profit.
      • ‘They also kept sheep, goats and cattle to add milk, butter, cheese and meat to their diet.’
      • ‘On the other side of the village is the Exmoor Falconry and Animal Farm, which not only keeps birds of prey and Shetland ponies but also has meerkats, a couple of kookaburras, and a llama.’
      • ‘Although it is true to say that keeping pigs as pets has been extremely popular, there are not as many pet pigs around at the moment according to a pig organisation.’
      • ‘Most of his cattle, however, he keeps for milk production.’
      • ‘He also wants a proper pony track and stables for the local boys to keep their horses.’
      • ‘To increase his income, he kept sheep and cows, did spinning and acted as a labourer when other farmers needed help.’
      • ‘I know several families who keep a couple of horses each so that they can hunt during the season.’
      • ‘The foundation provides homes for retired racehorses and keeps horses at farms in ten states, including Kentucky, Florida, and New York.’
      • ‘It is an active farm which keeps sheep, goats and pigs and produces cork and honey.’
      • ‘Because of the presence of the tsetse fly, large animals such as cattle and goats are not kept.’
      • ‘I remember a time when every farmer kept a pig or two for their own use.’
      • ‘The fox hunters' problem is that, because keeping a horse is a pretty expensive activity, they were always seen as some sort of financial elite.’
      • ‘Twenty or so acres can be useful for keeping horses or ponies and does carry a certain prestige.’
      • ‘He keeps pigs, cattle and sheep and does not look after the animals himself, contracting out all the mucky work.’
      • ‘The animal bones indicated that large quantities of sheep were kept, with some cattle and pig.’
      • ‘She has kept her horse, Callie, which is the first she has owned, at the stables since September.’
      • ‘Mr England decided to convert the barn when the pressures on farming forced him to give up keeping pigs at his holding two years ago.’
      • ‘He had to cycle seven miles each way to the land where the sheep were kept.’
      • ‘But the RSPCA and other leading animal welfare groups advise people not to keep exotic pets.’
      • ‘He said Beale was now keeping chickens and pigs, of which there had been no complaints, as well as growing strawberries.’
      breed, rear, raise, farm
      View synonyms
    3. 3.3 Own and manage (a shop or business).
      • ‘Tucked in a bazaar along a grimy street, he keeps a shop about the size of a toolshed.’
      • ‘Isaura and her husband kept a grocery nearby, and they often stayed there late in the evenings.’
      • ‘Jeremy had often told her that her father had been a merchant who kept shop near the barracks.’
      • ‘Little Nell Trent lives in the gloomy atmosphere of the old curiosity shop kept by her grandfather, whom she tends with devotion.’
      • ‘Roger, of course, would rather take care of her and keep the shop, but puts on a cheerful face.’
      manage, run, own, be the proprietor of, be in charge of, administer, organize, direct, keep up, maintain, operate, look after, superintend
      View synonyms
    4. 3.4 Guard; protect.
      ‘his only thought is to keep the boy from harm’
      • ‘You gave him a good life and kept him from pain.’
      • ‘Traditional values are so perverted by slavery that Sethe is driven to murder her own daughter to keep her from slavery's horrors.’
      • ‘We have spent almost 16 years keeping her from harm and helping her grow and now we have to sit back and watch this person come in and abuse her.’
      • ‘We would do anything to keep them from danger.’
      tend, look after, care for, take care of, mind, watch over, have charge of, be responsible for
      preserve, protect, keep safe, afford protection to, guard, shield, shelter, save, safeguard, secure, defend
      View synonyms
    5. 3.5 Support (someone, especially a woman) financially in return for sexual favors.
      as adjective ‘a kept woman’
      • ‘At one stage she was told no woman editor in London would touch her novel with a barge pole because it was so unfashionable to have a story about a kept woman.’
      • ‘He was a clever sociopath who owned three properties and kept different women at each.’
      • ‘He kept another woman, by whom he had two children.’
  • 4Honor or fulfill (a commitment or undertaking)

    ‘I'll keep my promise, naturally’
    • ‘Even as she said it, she knew that she could not guarantee herself that she would keep that oath.’
    • ‘He represents a party that is short on policy, short on commitment, and seriously short on keeping any promises that it made during the election.’
    • ‘Pharmaceutical companies now had to keep their promises and negotiate honestly, she said.’
    • ‘The men will not be allowed to leave the remote centre and must also keep a vow of complete silence for six months.’
    • ‘How far am I expected to travel so you can say you kept your promise?’
    • ‘We've made foolish promises, and it wouldn't be right to overburden those future younger workers by keeping them.’
    • ‘An irregular churchgoer before September, the woman who prayed for a miracle and got one is now keeping her end of the bargain.’
    • ‘For all these years, I kept my promise and never looked into the box under our bed.’
    • ‘Catherine always said that if she won the prize she would take her mother with her, so she has kept her promise.’
    • ‘You took an oath to defend the nation, and you kept that oath overseas and under fire.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the budget at the club has been slashed and the manager left because pledges were not kept.’
    • ‘The company kept its pledge to launch the services which will allow always-on internet access of over mobile handsets by the end of the year.’
    • ‘She can leave home only to get to her office job, to keep legal or health appointments.’
    • ‘Four years after a South Yorkshire council was blasted for failing to work on stopping benefit fraud, it has come under fire again for not keeping its promises to improve.’
    • ‘However, if he also keeps the commitment to buy new helicopters from Eurocopter, this will mean that in a couple of years Bulgaria will have 36 machines.’
    • ‘She was accused of failing to keep her promise to work with the aviation industry to improve the choice of destinations.’
    • ‘‘This is about keeping a commitment, delivering promises and being true to our convictions,’ he said.’
    • ‘We wanted to find out whether Britain and the West are keeping the pledges we made.’
    • ‘It also results from engineers being conscientious people who are serious about keeping their commitments.’
    • ‘This is the work not of months, but of years and keeping these commitments is essential to our future security.’
    comply with, obey, respect, observe, conform to, abide by, stick to, act in accordance with, act according to, have regard to, heed, follow, pay attention to, defer to, take notice of
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 Observe (a religious occasion) in the prescribed manner.
      ‘today's consumers do not keep the Sabbath’
      • ‘They were once so numerous that the town kept the feast of St Crispin on October 25, patron saint of cobblers.’
      • ‘Some kept all the Holy Days and some kept only Passover.’
      • ‘Not once in the New Testament are we told to keep the Sabbath.’
      observe, respect, honour, hold sacred, recognize, acknowledge
      View synonyms
    2. 4.2 Pay due regard to (a law or custom).
      • ‘Every week religious Jews observe the Sabbath, the Jewish holy day, and keep its laws and customs.’
      • ‘He thought that to be ‘good’ he had to keep the rules and respect the law of God.’
      • ‘For Pharisees, holiness was achieved, in part, by rigorously keeping the law.’
      • ‘We are free and tolerant in our private lives, but in public affairs we keep the law.’
      • ‘We have kept that tradition for 1,600 years and we should be proud of it, he added.’
      • ‘We are not saved by keeping the law, or by doing good works, or by adhering to church doctrine.’
      • ‘Smaller, lighter and faster, it keeps the tradition of luxury.’
      • ‘We can dedicate more resources to keep our traditions that might be lost otherwise.’
      • ‘Paul and the Jesus of the gospels reject the belief that keeping the Jewish law is necessary for salvation.’
      • ‘The Gentiles or unbeliever is able to keep the moral law because they are made in the image of God.’
      • ‘When we think of observing the law, of keeping the commandments, it is the will that first comes to mind.’
      • ‘Such a man obeys my commands and carefully keeps my laws.’
      • ‘Among ourselves, we keep the law but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle.’
      • ‘So for instance, the lyre bird is the storyteller of the bush, not only because it doesn't have a voice of its own, but because it keeps the law.’
      • ‘According to my teachers, only Catholics who kept the commandments had a real shot at Heaven.’
      • ‘If they kept these laws they were going to be victorious and happy in their promised land.’
      • ‘Our experience in Ireland is that the only thing that really works in terms of drivers keeping the law is fear.’
      • ‘Because no one keeps the whole Law, everyone who lives by the Law must be under a curse.’
      • ‘They were redeemed, not because they kept the law but because they received the promise.’
      • ‘Thus far we have seen only part of what he meant when he said that Christians should keep the whole law.’
      observe, respect, honour, hold sacred, recognize, acknowledge
      View synonyms
  • 5Make written entries in (a diary) on a regular basis.

    ‘the master kept a weekly journal’
    • ‘In a practice common among schizophrenics, he keeps a notebook, writing in hieroglyphs that are only comprehensible to him.’
    • ‘There are many possible reasons for keeping a diary and they range from pathological nostalgia to a prudent desire to possess a record of work done and objectives accomplished.’
    • ‘Like most working class children, he was illiterate and kept no diary or written record of his life.’
    • ‘Nicole used the site to write poems and kept a diary of her treatment there.’
    • ‘He writes long letters to his estranged wife and keeps a diary.’
    • ‘She also writes poetry and has kept a diary since she was 9 years-old.’
    • ‘I've been keeping this diary now for four months.’
    • ‘This fascination with themselves results in keeping diaries or writing poetry.’
    • ‘You may not be used to keeping a diary or journal, and perhaps feel unsure of how to best start.’
    • ‘As a kid, or as a grown up, did you keep a diary writing up what you did everyday?’
    • ‘From the age of four, when he was taught to write by his governess, he kept a diary.’
    • ‘It is said that while he was inside, Watson kept a diary and that it may now be written up for publication.’
    • ‘My mother, who died when I was born, kept a diary every day from her eleventh birthday until she married.’
    • ‘Ever since I decided to move into a new town, I thought keeping a diary of everyday events would be an interesting exercise.’
    • ‘During World War II Anne Frank, a Jewish girl in Amsterdam, kept a diary of the time she lived in.’
    • ‘Periodically Ian kept a diary, each entry scribbled in pencil.’
    • ‘So, turn off that TV and start keeping a diary, a journal or, best of all, a blog.’
    • ‘Some of us remember keeping our own diary as children.’
    • ‘I used to keep a paper journal back then.’
    • ‘I kept a diary through much of my teenage years, although it was a bit intermittent.’
    1. 5.1 Write down as (a record)
      ‘keep a note of the whereabouts of each item’
      • ‘We have a terrible time in keeping accurate records of community members.’
      • ‘Employers must keep records for at least three years to show that workers were paid the national minimum wage.’
      • ‘I would have to spend two or three nights a week on keeping records and form filling.’
      • ‘The children were asked to participate in the summer reading scheme and the library have kept a record of all books read.’
      • ‘The UK scheme keeps records for every employee's full working life.’
      • ‘They should also do head counts of students rather than relying on the false records kept by the company.’
      • ‘As I always do when I travel, I kept a record of what we saw and did, but putting Iceland into words is not easy.’
      • ‘World War Two veteran Mr Rogers, 81, has kept a written record of his complaints and says he is fed up with being overlooked.’
      • ‘She still keeps records charting every penny she spends and she is worried.’
      • ‘The gas firm was also found to have been keeping inadequate records of the state of its pipe distribution network.’
      • ‘The experts demanded to know whether they had been keeping proper records of their excavations.’
      • ‘It does not keep a record of how many households use the permits.’
      • ‘He keeps a record of the news that has appeared about him in print.’
      • ‘Owning a second home has its own tax consequences, and it is important to ensure proper, up-to-date records are kept.’
      • ‘Pupils will be keeping an on-going record of the building work as it progresses.’
      • ‘If the problem persists it is a good idea to keep a record of the frequency and type of disturbance.’
      • ‘There are two things for me that we will discuss as a panel, as we will discuss absolutely everything, because we have kept a record of what you have said.’
      • ‘In desperation, Novalee camps in the Wal-Mart store, keeping a tally of all the food and goods she has borrowed.’
      • ‘During this era, people tended to write everything down and keep accurate records of events.’
      • ‘Most of my novels were written while I was in full-time employment, and I kept records of the amount of time I spent on them.’

noun

  • 1Food, clothes, and other essentials for living.

    ‘working overtime to earn his keep’
    • ‘Many men returned to work on the mills every season for many years as they got a regular wage and their keep.’
    • ‘At least this way they pay for their crimes and contribute something towards the cost of their keep.’
    • ‘People like us who did without to own our house as a legacy for our children have our home taken off us if we have to go into care to pay for our keep.’
    • ‘For 10 shillings a week, plus his keep, Trevor worked on the moor where Mr Middlemiss had moor rights.’
    • ‘Occasionally. in those days, some would be paid a wage but mostly they would work for their keep and a little pocket money.’
    • ‘That is why Greatwood is appealing for people to adopt one of the retired racehorses and contribute towards the cost of its keep.’
    • ‘They had their pay and their keep and were given a quarter of a sheep to take home to feed their families.’
    • ‘If they were, then they would have been earning their keep and fending for themselves, like everyone else is supposed to do.’
    maintenance, upkeep, support, sustenance, subsistence, board, board and lodging, food, nourishment, nurture
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The cost of basic living essentials.
      • ‘But to our ancestors, kids were an addition to the family workforce and had to earn their keep.’
      • ‘While earning his keep as a waiter in Covent Garden, Norton took a place at Central School of Art and Drama.’
      • ‘He earned his keep cleaning the shoes and rooms of upper-class students.’
      • ‘Now they have to earn their keep - and, as far as we are concerned, they are not doing so.’
      • ‘For the next four decades Norris usually earned his keep working as a fisherman.’
      • ‘Once upon a time we may have been loss leaders; but now, we are expected to earn our keep.’
      • ‘These people are entitled to protection and should not be forced to earn their keep.’
      • ‘He organizes his charges to defuse land mines in order to earn their keep.’
      • ‘Even Web sites with a noble mission to restore a sense of community now have to earn their keep.’
      • ‘Work was to be created for those who were sufficiently fit to be able to contribute towards their own keep.’
      • ‘It wasn't a woman's place to own a farm, but a girl was expected to earn her keep by working on the family farm.’
      • ‘He earned his keep in university by running a bookmaking operation out of his back pocket.’
      • ‘He would have played in the first team, coached the kids and earned his keep by working behind the bar and on the ground.’
  • 2archaic Charge; control.

    ‘if from shepherd's keep a lamb strayed far’
    • ‘I was filled with gratitude that these beautiful children are in my keep.’
    safe keeping, care, custody, charge, possession, trust, protection, safeguard
    View synonyms
  • 3The strongest or central tower of a castle, acting as a final refuge.

    • ‘Even the gateways leading into old keeps and castles don't escape the over-enthusiasm of some amateur restorers.’
    • ‘The keep in stone encircled from the full water ditch that we see today was built at this time.’
    • ‘This Great Hall was the social centre for the inhabitants of the inner keep.’
    • ‘It is crowned with a stone shell keep of about 1300, which replaced a timber predecessor.’
    • ‘Whereas motte and bailey castles were surrounded by a wooden fence, the stone keeps could rely on outer walls made of stone (curtain walls).’
    • ‘She had been stuck in that horrible keep for the last four years of her life.’
    • ‘Manors and even small keeps abound in the highlands, not tourist attractions but still noble family estates.’
    • ‘The never completed keep is a great round tower divided by a moat from the inner curtain that curves inward to avoid it.’
    • ‘Its most remarkable feature is that the large keep is itself protected by further curtain walls.’
    • ‘In stone keep castles, keeps were much higher than any other part of the castle.’
    • ‘Kids will love the medieval keep, with its spiral staircases, and dim lighting.’
    • ‘In a few places great stone keeps were begun, best known of which is the Tower of London.’
    fortress, fort, stronghold, tower, donjon, castle, citadel, bastion, fortification, fastness
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • you can't keep a good man (or woman) down

    • informal A competent person will always recover well from setbacks or problems.

      • ‘There's an age old adage however that says you can't keep a good man down, and while even some of his closest allies feared that defeat would end his career in public life Oliver Coffey had other ideas.’
      • ‘Attorney General John Ashcroft rushed back from gall-bladder surgery this week - you can't keep a good man down - to announce that the Department of Justice will set up a special Intellectual Property Task Force.’
      • ‘He had a bad day at the office on Monday, but you can't keep a good man down for long.’
      • ‘But you can't keep a good man down: Jack got on that plane and contested the Vegas tournaments with two broken ribs, a punctured lung and a metal plate in his wrist.’
      • ‘We should have known that you can't keep a good man down.’
      • ‘Well, you can't keep a good man down and he's back, again.’
      • ‘But you know what they say - you can't keep a good man down.’
      • ‘It's true that McNabb started the 2003 season in horrible fashion, but you can't keep a good man down forever, especially when he has the moves and the arm of this quarterback.’
      • ‘He was on the receiving end of three pushes but you can't keep a good man down.’
      • ‘Like they say, you can't keep a good man down and the cream always rises to the top.’
  • for keeps

    • informal Permanently; indefinitely.

      • ‘If an individual has won refugee status, that is theirs for keeps unless they break the law.’
      • ‘I was tempted to ask if she'd like to stay for keeps.’
      • ‘One has to use a nearby church hall for classes: the other has reverted to portable buildings in the playground that they hoped had gone for keeps.’
      • ‘It's symptomatic of this disposable mentality society where nothing's for keeps and everything can be changed.’
      • ‘If there had been any doubt, however, he now knows he is not there for keeps.’
      • ‘Once they are married, however, it's usually for keeps.’
      • ‘I think she went into that marriage for keeps, and it's taken her a long time to get to the stage where she realises that the other person didn't.’
      • ‘But once the final payment has gone, the car is yours for keeps.’
      • ‘Well, as the saying goes - wherever it came from in the first place - if you love someone, set her free; if she comes back to you, she is for keeps, if not, it was never meant to be.’
      • ‘My life's been hard, I don't trust people easily, but when I do, it's for keeps.’
      forever, for ever, for all time, for ever and ever, for always, once and for all, for good, for good and all, permanently, in perpetuity
      View synonyms
  • keep one's feet

    • Manage not to fall.

      • ‘Unable to keep his feet, he fell backward, into the icy cold water of the bay.’
      • ‘It's hard enough to keep your feet with only a pack and a rifle on your back.’
      • ‘She almost tripped over herself, but managed to keep her feet.’
      • ‘He managed to keep his feet for a few seconds, then tumbled forward into the dirt.’
      • ‘Outside the harbor, the waves were high enough that we had to grip the bowlines to keep our feet.’
      • ‘Jessie managed to keep her feet and offered him a hand back up.’
      • ‘A few of the players were not keeping their feet, but it was better once we got used to it.’
      • ‘I kept my feet and met her straight on as she came at me.’
      • ‘He can take on two or three people and, when you think he's going to lose balance, somehow keep his feet and beat the goalkeeper.’
      • ‘Players were finding it very hard to keep their feet.’
  • keep going

    • Make an effort to live normally when in a difficult situation.

      • ‘He kept going through decidedly lean periods by remaining true to himself as a player and a person.’
      • ‘We could have kept going, but we would have just got worse and worse as time went on.’
      • ‘With much determination in our eyes and sweat on our brows, we kept going.’
      • ‘Through rich and more barren times, he has kept going, backing up his albums with frequent touring.’
      • ‘She suffered quite badly with heart problems recently but she kept going.’
      • ‘Through all of this he kept going and now the new school is ready to open.’
      • ‘It definitely gives us the confident start we need to keep going and continue to be healthy.’
      • ‘Even when the equipment started melting, and they got burns to their arms, they kept going.’
  • keep it real

    • informal Be genuine, unaffected, or honest.

      ‘whatever you do, keep it real’
      ‘he kept it real and I found him charming’
  • keep to oneself

    • Avoid contact with others.

      • ‘Living as she did in a colony where the neighbors kept to themselves, she was virtually a prisoner within her home.’
      • ‘Neighbours said he kept to himself but would always say hello.’
      • ‘‘They were genuinely nice, kept to themselves and were always seen out walking together,’ said one local.’
      • ‘She said her brother, the eldest of nine children, was a man who kept to himself.’
      • ‘They have been avoiding the whole Los Angeles scene, preferring to keep to themselves.’
      • ‘Hidden from civilisation and resisting all attempts at contact, they had kept to themselves.’
      • ‘I had the attacks several times a month and tried desperately to prevent them by keeping to myself and avoiding any social situations.’
      • ‘He spoke with a few villagers but mostly kept to himself.’
      • ‘The younger ones, by contrast, kept to themselves more, talking intensely in quiet voices and casting a chilly eye on strangers.’
      • ‘I kept to myself for most of the morning, hoping to avoid everyone else.’
  • keep something to oneself

    • Refuse to disclose or share something.

      • ‘If he had negative opinions, he usually kept them to himself.’
      • ‘I think our intelligence officers have the information but they keep it to themselves.’
      • ‘If it is a view shared by staff and players, they are keeping it to themselves.’
      • ‘She was pregnant, but kept the information to herself.’
      • ‘Rachael kept the dream to herself and never shared it with anyone.’
      • ‘Until recently, the common practice of governments was still to keep all information to themselves.’
      • ‘Often we artists are a solitary lot, preferring to keep our work to ourselves until we deem it fit for sharing.’
      • ‘She kept it to herself, because it was too hard to share.’
      • ‘He kept his disappointments to himself, a quiet murmur of disapproval usually being as far as it went.’
      • ‘If they had troubles, they kept them to themselves, setting a pattern for the rest of their lives.’
  • keep open house

    • Provide general hospitality.

      • ‘Here she kept open house for the traveller, the poor and those in need of help.’
      • ‘He kept open house in his office, a small, single-storey building.’
      • ‘He keeps open house for all those farmers and people who want to do ecological restoration and conservation at the micro level.’
      • ‘The divorcee was a ‘sexual adventurer’ who had a series of casual and serious lovers and kept open house at her home.’
      • ‘They tap into the collective memory of feudal lords keeping open house in medieval great halls - and of Victorian millionaires serving lavish dinners to jaded princes in pseudo-medieval mansions.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • keep someone after

    • Make a student stay at school after normal hours as a punishment.

      • ‘And, anyway, if a teacher was gonna keep him after, he'd rather it be Mr. Silurian than anyone else.’
      • ‘If you were in his last class of the day he'd keep the whole class after.’
      • ‘‘Where's Lily?’ she vaguely heard Christian ask. Natalie sighed. ‘Mrs. Wilcox kept her after.’’
  • keep at (or keep someone at)

    • Persist (or force someone to persist) with.

      ‘it was the best part of a day's work but I kept at it’
      • ‘He was dedicated, and he was focused, and he kept at it year after year after year.’
      • ‘The job would get done, if we kept at it.’
      • ‘I think they're all very smart people, that are very good at something a lot of people can't even comprehend, and I think that kind of drive keeps them at what they do.’
      • ‘I kept at the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until I heard the doorbell ring and a policeman came in.’
      • ‘I'd get to these points where I wanted to stop but he kept me at it.’
      persevere with, persist with, be persistent in, keep going with, keep on at, be pertinacious in, show determination in, be resolute in, be steadfast in, not give up, not cease from, not falter in, carry on with, press on with, work away at, continue with, see through, struggle on with
      View synonyms
  • keep away (or keep someone away)

    • Stay away (or make someone stay away)

      ‘keep away from the edge of the cliff’
      • ‘It's hard enough to try to raise your kids right and keep them away from drugs without someone slipping this into my kids' daily round of subliminal nudging.’
      • ‘Shopping online or by mail order keeps you away from some of the holiday's most aggravating situations - crowded stores and streets.’
      • ‘After the airport reception, the contestants were whisked to their hotel where they have been kept away from the press.’
      • ‘Parents took their children out of classes last Tuesday and kept them away for the rest of the week in protest against the school's dilapidated condition.’
      • ‘I have kept him away from mirrors so he could not see how bad it was.’
      • ‘Although his record promotions and concert tours kept Joe away from Ireland a lot, he never forgot his home following and played the dancehall circuit to capacity audiences throughout the 80s.’
      • ‘His father taught him at home and kept him away from children his age.’
      • ‘The fact is, you were kept away from the public for two years.’
      • ‘In fact the Orange parade used to gather at the bottom of our road and my mother even kept us away from the window.’
      • ‘Another pastime that has kept me away from the keyboard is a fascinating book I've been reading.’
      stay away, keep away, be absent, withdraw, retire, take one's leave, remove oneself, slip away, take oneself off, abscond
      View synonyms
  • keep back (or keep someone/something back)

    • Remain (or cause someone or something to remain) at a distance.

      ‘he had kept back from the river when he could’
      • ‘He tried to get in again, covering his face with a T-shirt, but again the flames kept him back.’
      • ‘Police cordoned off the area to keep people back and the bus station remained closed following the accident.’
      • ‘The media cordon is set up relatively close to the building, stepping back, keeping us back only about 50 to 75 metres.’
      • ‘The water had risen too high, and the levees just were not strong enough to keep it back.’
      • ‘Standing, he meant to go after the man, but Brad laid a gentle but restraining hand on his shoulder, keeping him back.’
      • ‘Cardiff fans were segregated at the match, and afterwards kept back while Leeds fans dispersed.’
      • ‘He was escorted by more than 50 police officers back to the community to re-enact the crime, but there were not enough officers to keep back the angry crowd who wanted immediate revenge.’
      • ‘They were kept back by hundreds of police.’
      • ‘It was lucky that the windows are double-glazed as they kept back the flames for a few minutes.’
      • ‘The captain of the Carpathia, however, had heard ‘no such stories’ about men being kept back from the lifeboats at gunpoint.’
  • keep someone back

    • Make a student repeat a year at school because of poor grades.

      • ‘His sister, also a sophomore (because she had been kept back in grade school), has a 3.6 GPA and is a leader in her Bible-studies group.’
      • ‘Consider keeping him back a year in school to allow him more time to develop the underlying abilities that he may need to avoid making him overly frustrated.’
      • ‘Kids who fail the test are kept back a grade.’
      • ‘Authority's remedy, if you spent too much time out of the stream in one year, was to keep you back a class.’
      • ‘Teachers threatened to keep kids back a year if they failed… and they did?’
      • ‘I have had many students who have been kept back a year, and they have had great success.’
  • keep something back

    • 1Retain or withhold something.

      ‘the father kept back $5 for himself’
      • ‘Patrick Scott, York's director of education, said it was tempting to assume funding was being kept back, but he suspected the truth was more complicated.’
      • ‘The profit kept back for the firm, after tax, was just £4.48m.’
      • ‘Although this was the amount of rations laid down by law some of the shady crews often kept back food for to sell when they reached shore.’
      • ‘Emergency services made arrangements with garages for supplies to be kept back specially for their vehicles.’
      • ‘They have always been told that insurance companies kept back some profits from the good years to compensate for the bad ones.’
      • ‘So far everything we've kept back will have a place in the next house, even if only once a year, like Christmas decorations.’
      • ‘The blunder was made in calculating how much of the grant should go to schools and how much kept back for administration.’
      • ‘District councillors have blamed central government cutbacks for the rise, as newly introduced funding ‘ceilings’ mean money has been kept back from many local councils.’
      • ‘When the pasta is ready, drain through a colander - keeping back a bit of the water - and tip immediately onto the egg yolk- and Parmesan mix, and ensuring that 1-2 tbsp of the cooking water goes with it.’
      • ‘Martin said some pupils had still not received their report cards, which were being kept back because they had failed to pay their school fees.’
      reserve, keep in reserve, put by, save, save up, store up, put aside, lay aside, set aside, hoard, treasure
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Decline to disclose something.
        • ‘You know, you have to watch the behaviors, too, and see if they seem to be keeping something back.’
        • ‘And yet, and yet… something of yourself should always be kept back in the cop game.’
        • ‘I have a feeling they're keeping something back for a second series.’
        • ‘Sorry mum, every daughter keeps a few things back y'know…’
        • ‘And even if directors were found to have wrongly kept back information they could not be fined, Sir Howard said.’
        • ‘He has also discovered, through his relationship with Moore and their subsequent break-up, that he needs to keep something back.’
        • ‘He denied he kept back the Ernst and Young report because he did not agree with some of its findings.’
        • ‘I've kept this post back for a long time and altered a few key details, just in case my employers think they can identify us and use this blog as a stick with which to beat me.’
        conceal, keep secret, keep hidden, hide, withhold, suppress, keep quiet about, not tell, not reveal, not divulge, hush up
        View synonyms
      2. 1.2Prevent tears from flowing.
        • ‘I stepped back from her, blinking hard to keep my tears back and walked towards the car.’
        • ‘I chewed on the inside of my cheek to keep the tears back.’
        • ‘She stared blankly at the empty chair across from her while trying to fight a losing battle of keeping her tears back.’
        • ‘I closed my eyes and desperately tried to keep the tears back.’
        • ‘I tried to speak but when I tried to explain I was choking to keep my tears back.’
        • ‘I concentrated on keeping the tears back and said nothing.’
        • ‘‘You shouldn't have done that,’ I said quietly, trying to keep the tears back, afraid of seeing Chris again.’
        • ‘She bit her lip gently, trying to keep the tears back.’
        • ‘Tears were stinging in my eyes and I struggled to keep them back.’
        • ‘She stayed silent, trying to keep her tears back.’
  • keep down

    • Stay hidden by crouching or lying down.

      ‘Keep down! There's someone coming’
      • ‘As we neared the shore we were ordered to keep down to avoid getting wounded should the enemy start shelling the incoming craft.’
      • ‘The building was full of smoke, so I held my breath, kept down low and squirted the contents of the extinguisher.’
      • ‘I'm much taller than the children on the field and they keep hissing at me to keep down.’
      • ‘‘Keep down, and don't even breathe!’ I whispered.’
  • keep someone down

    • Hold someone in subjection.

      ‘but others doubted the injury would keep him down that long’
      • ‘Even an investigation by the Inland Revenue's special compliance unit and a brain tumour could not keep him down.’
      • ‘We are in no way an underdog province beneath the thumb of a national environment ministry bent on keeping us down.’
      • ‘Work is shown as unremitting drudgery, keeping us down and continually reminding us of our essential failure.’
      • ‘Yes, we're suffering, yes, we're on our knees, but you're not going to keep us down.’
      • ‘I used to think that all women, like most men, were kept down by the evil capitalists who controlled the country, but I never saw myself as carrying this oppressive gene.’
      • ‘He was out there to prove that nothing was going to keep him down and full credit to him.’
      • ‘We live in a negative world where we are constantly bombarded with bad news, hurtful gossip and sometimes people we hold in high regard trying to keep us down all the time.’
      • ‘He's ticked off because he's being robbed and humiliated right now, kept down by poverty and the lack of a level playing field.’
      • ‘Stop whining about how the system is keeping you down!’
      • ‘This was never out of any desire to see women treated with respect as equals - rather it was one way of keeping us down.’
      keep in subjection, keep in submission, hold down, keep down, keep under one's thumb, subdue, subject, suppress, repress, oppress, tyrannize over, tyrannize
      View synonyms
  • keep something down

    • 1Cause something to remain at a low level.

      ‘the population of aphids is normally kept down by other animals’
      • ‘They had kept the noise down to an acceptable level.’
      • ‘One other way that the cost of living could be kept down is by Government refraining from increasing taxes of any kind.’
      • ‘We are keeping down congestion levels and increasing dramatically the number of people who travel by public transport.’
      • ‘He said that prices will be kept down even if it meant forgoing some profit.’
      • ‘More pay for women, better childcare and better quality workers through continuous training are the keys to keeping down unemployment in Ireland.’
      • ‘He said the fares were being kept down to reasonable levels despite the steep increase in petrol prices.’
      • ‘On the positive side, Bulgarian resourcefulness in recycling and reuse has kept down the volume of waste.’
      • ‘The average occupancy is nine months and intensive management is the key to our success in keeping down the number of empty flats.’
      • ‘They want flexible design, but staff costs kept down.’
      • ‘Like all the other high street retailers it was striving to cut costs to keep prices down and remain competitive.’
    • 2Retain food or drink in one's stomach without vomiting.

      • ‘I can feel his upper body tense up as he's fighting to keep the food down, and pass him a glass of water.’
      • ‘She had been sick before but when I rang last night they said she had kept her food down and I was able to speak to her and she seems all right.’
      • ‘His stomach is a bit irritable, but he's kept down macaroni and cheese and some pretzels.’
      • ‘She eventually lost her voice and couldn't keep any food down.’
      • ‘Mild nausea and occasional vomiting aren't a threat to your baby's health as long as you're able to keep some food down and drink plenty of fluids.’
      • ‘He was thirsty, but couldn't keep the water down after he drank it.’
      • ‘The child could keep no food down, and grew weaker by the day.’
      • ‘His stomach had barely kept the coffee down that morning.’
      • ‘I managed to keep the food down but didn't feel any better until I had a couple of bottles of beer early evening.’
      • ‘You're cold and tired because your blood pressure is low and you've been unable to keep any food down.’
      digest, keep down, find palatable, manage to consume, manage to eat, swallow
      View synonyms
  • keep from (or keep someone from)

    • Avoid (or cause someone to avoid) doing something.

      ‘Dinah bit her lips to keep from screaming’
      ‘he could hardly keep himself from laughing’
      • ‘Health problems kept him from traveling.’
      • ‘Parents who speak in complete sentences will have children, by and large, who will do so, especially if they are kept from watching television and motion pictures.’
      • ‘Avoiding the person will keep you from reinforcing the feelings you have toward them.’
      • ‘I can't recall ever actually watching a sunrise, and I guess technically I didn't see one yesterday since the rain clouds kept us from actually seeing the sun at all.’
      • ‘Their parents, too, reported that the children's oral health problems kept them from playing with other kids and disrupted their sleep.’
      • ‘Still, one wonders what has kept Faber from producing a paperback edition for so long.’
      • ‘If you're over 40, you remember how you thought inflation would keep you from ever finding a job.’
      • ‘This process was a valuable tool in breaking through the walls that kept them from understanding themselves.’
      • ‘It's sort of like this snorting sound - loud enough to keep us from ever sleeping again, yet quiet enough not to wake the neighborhood.’
      • ‘For example, it is particularly striking that almost half of the Hispanic Spanish speakers in this study believed that the two-way program kept them from dropping out of school.’
      refrain from, stop oneself, restrain oneself from, prevent oneself from, manage not to, forbear from, resist the temptation to, forgo, avoid
      prevent, stop, hinder, impede, hamper
      View synonyms
  • keep something from

    • 1Cause something to remain a secret from (someone).

      • ‘He was her best friend, and they never kept secrets from each other.’
      • ‘Then I realized that not telling you would be the same as lying if I deliberately kept something from you.’
      • ‘I told the mother the first thing in the morning, but we kept it from the children as long as we could.’
      • ‘I had no idea what he had in mind and everyone kept the secret from me.’
      • ‘They understand that shared knowledge is much more powerful than if it is kept from the larger group.’
      • ‘She's kept something from her, on purpose, because she was afraid it would change what she thinks of her.’
      • ‘He kept the secret from his family until the final show was broadcast.’
      • ‘Most teens/pre-teens spend a great deal of time keeping secrets from their parents.’
      • ‘Don't you think you've kept enough secrets from me?’
      • ‘My daughter pierced her belly button without permission and kept it from me until I discovered it by accident.’
      keep secret, keep hidden, hide, conceal, withhold, hush up, not tell, suppress, censor, redact
      View synonyms
    • 2Cause something to stay out of.

      ‘she could not keep the dismay from her voice’
      • ‘Em was hard pressed to keep the grin from her face as she watched him go.’
      • ‘She kept the sadness from her eyes as she answered him with a kiss.’
      • ‘Francesca nodded slowly, trying desperately to keep the laughter from her voice.’
      • ‘Dirk spoke haltingly, trying to keep the unfettered emotion from his voice.’
  • keep someone in

    • Confine someone indoors or in a particular place.

      ‘he should be kept in overnight for a second operation’
      • ‘The doctors decided to keep him in overnight because they were worried about the injury to his eye.’
      • ‘They got her under control, got the insulin levels stable and kept her in for a day or so to make sure all was well.’
      • ‘But on arriving at the hospital the pain eased, and doctors decided to keep her in for 48 hours to check on her condition.’
      • ‘They were worried that he might have damaged a joint so wanted to keep him in overnight.’
      • ‘The woman was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where she has been kept in for observation.’
      • ‘He was kept in for tests and an X-ray.’
      • ‘He later went to North Manchester General Hospital where he was kept in overnight for observation.’
      • ‘An ambulance took the child to the hospital, where she was kept in for observation overnight.’
      • ‘Since that first episode, my sister has been sectioned six times - the last time was the worst, when she was kept in for seven months, including Christmas, new year and, most heartbreakingly of all, her 30th birthday.’
      • ‘Everyone has kept their children in today, they are so shocked and can't see why it has happened.’
  • keep something in

    • Restrain oneself from expressing a feeling.

      ‘he wanted to make me mad, but I kept it all in’
      • ‘My mother used booze and drugs to deal with her anger and my father kept his anger in.’
      • ‘Usually, I can manage to keep it all in. At most, I’ll let a few tears trickle down my cheeks.’
      • ‘I keep my sadness in, when it probably would feel better to get it out.’
  • keep off

    • 1Avoid encroaching on or touching.

      • ‘Because of the presence of asbestos, fire fighters had largely kept off the factory site, and surrounded the fire instead using water jets.’
      • ‘Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council have been working together to contact travellers and tell them to keep off the field until next week.’
      • ‘We must promote football by keeping off the grass and not trampling on ethics.’
      • ‘We took a route that kept off the main road as much as possible from Rozel on, and we passed the Neolithic Dolmen de Couperon before reaching St Catherine's Bay.’
      • ‘The Foreign Office has advised Britons against travelling to Bolivia, and warned those already in the country to keep off the streets, not to travel, and to avoid any demonstrations.’
      • ‘Organisers and government officials in the period prior to the Games tried to encourage as many Sydneysiders as possible to leave the city, or failing that to keep off the roads, in order to streamline transport to Olympic events.’
      • ‘I think like with any big city, as long as you keep off the old side streets at night, you're OK.’
      • ‘All this time farmers have been ranting at walkers about keeping off their land: and here they are, not even cleaning their own farm vehicles properly.’
      • ‘Ready Mix Concrete, which owns Chigborough Lakes, near Drapers Lane, has put up signs advising people to keep off land close to the lakes near Drapers Farm.’
      • ‘We don't want the sort of garden where children can't kick a ball or have to keep off the grass.’
      stay off, not enter, keep away from, stay away from, not trespass on, remain at a distance from, not go near
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Avoid consuming or smoking.
        ‘the first thing was to keep off alcohol’
        • ‘I have kept off the alcohol today to make sure I didn't miss anything.’
        • ‘He added: ‘I gave up smoking last May and decided I needed an incentive to keep off the ciggies and took up running.’’
        • ‘Declining the offer Seán had, ‘given up the drink for Lent and was keeping off it until after the election.’’
        • ‘She has kept off alcohol, except for one slip, and that is a great achievement for someone who has suffered alcohol abuse problems for many years.’
        • ‘He told her: ‘If you have kept off alcohol, not committed any offences and complied with the services, the worst that will happen to you will be a probation order.’’
        • ‘Just keep off the drink until after you've filed.’
        • ‘Mr Jack said he had kept off heroin and out of trouble since 1999.’
        abstain from, go without, do without, renounce, refrain from, give up, forgo, forswear, resist, turn aside from, swear off, not touch
        View synonyms
      2. 1.2Avoid (a subject).
        • ‘He would goof off, smile, horse around, do anything to keep off the subject, but I could tell.’
        • ‘They tried to keep off the subject of Hunter's mother by talking about the exam and what they were going to do on Saturday for Halloween but it was difficult.’
        • ‘He kept off the core issues he usually loves to talk about and confined himself to cursory remarks.’
        • ‘As a result, the government is now taking a circuitous route and trying to avoid those controversial subjects by keeping off the topic or delaying the discussions.’
        • ‘He had perked up and we got the impression that, provided we kept off politics, we could have stayed and chewed the fat all afternoon.’
        • ‘If the patient is not inclined to discuss her ailment, keep off the topic.’
        • ‘if you kept off sensitive subjects she was normal and charming.’
        avoid, steer clear of, stay away from, shun, evade, skirt round, sidestep, dodge, pass over, bypass
        View synonyms
    • 2(of bad weather) fail to occur.

      • ‘‘I just hope that the rain is going to keep off,’ she said.’
      • ‘The rain kept off and the day went really well.’
      • ‘And the rain did keep off… indeed for most of the week the rain kept off.’
      • ‘Even the weather managed to behave itself, with the rain keeping off until the judging was well over.’
      • ‘I'll be watching the game tonight, I hope the bad weather keeps off.’
      stay away, hold off, not start, not begin, not come, not happen
      View synonyms
  • keep someone/something off

    • Prevent someone or something from encroaching on or touching.

      ‘keep your hands off me’
      • ‘So much good work has been done by the locals that it is vital, from now on, that all forms of litter are kept off the roadway and that the flower beds and baskets are maintained at their best.’
      • ‘Large vans and lorries are kept off by a concrete and bollard bottleneck barrier.’
      • ‘Umbrellas made as much of a style statement as hats, bags and shoes yesterday as racegoers battled to keep off the rain.’
      • ‘The summer is when you really need centres such as this kept open as it keeps children off the streets.’
      • ‘It covers the windshield keeping off ice, frost and snow sparing you from scraping your windows clean.’
      • ‘It keeps kids off the streets and gives them a bit of exercise.’
      • ‘Many stops along the way have no shelters whatsoever, while those available are often inadequate, with limited seating and insufficient cover to keep off a shower of rain.’
      • ‘I used to walk up and down the aisle passing sweets along the rows and making sure they kept their feet off the seats.’
      • ‘If we persist in demonising young people - portraying them as trouble-makers who need to be kept off our streets - we shouldn't be surprised if some of them, at least, turn out to be demons.’
      • ‘A lens cap not only guards against scratching, but also keeps off dirt and fingerprints, which can also reduce sharpness and contrast.’
  • keep on

    • Continue to do (something)

      ‘they would have preferred to keep on working’
      • ‘She kept on trying to talk to me in English even if her vocabulary was pretty limited.’
      • ‘Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding!’
      • ‘We just let him play in the morning for a while, but he kept on asking when his dad was coming to take him out for presents.’
      • ‘He kept on falling over and he got kicked in the ribs, and once in the head.’
      • ‘This was January and I was positive I would be dead by March if I kept on taking drugs.’
      • ‘I have always been a bit slow on the uptake, and I just kept on looking at the board and waiting for it to make sense.’
      • ‘When she was younger, I kept on telling her to elope and then return to tell everyone she was married.’
      • ‘He was challenged by police and ordered to put the weapon down but kept on walking.’
      • ‘I thought it odd that he kept on going into the soft dunes and not on the harder sand near the water.’
      • ‘I kept on waiting until my tummy began to complain and then I shucked on my coat and went out to investigate.’
      continue, go on, carry on, persist in, persevere in, keep going with
      View synonyms
  • keep on about

    • Speak about (something) repeatedly.

      • ‘That old man kept on about how the Puerto Ricans were coming around ruining his neighborhood, he had no idea that his real enemy was me.’
      • ‘She kept on about how they go drinking and how much fun they have on the beach at night.’
      • ‘‘We keep on about needing to do things for young people affordable housing, skate parks but we don't deliver,’ he said.’
      • ‘So does she get upset when journalists keep on about it?’
      • ‘I still haven't checked my cupboards for this damn contaminated food my Mother keeps on about.’
      • ‘Everyone keeps on about a new start for the New Year but I just feel sluggish and in desperate need of a major make-over.’
      • ‘The preamble kept on about how many Stop the War demonstrations there had been in Trafalgar Square, unquestionably assuming that all right-thinking people would be of the same opinion.’
      • ‘But my Uncle was insistent and kept on about it being bizarre me wearing it.’
      • ‘Haley's friend apologised but Bradley kept on about it so Haley told him to stop moaning and get on with his game.’
      • ‘I told him he ought to just ask her to dinner or something, but he kept on about how he was going to have to impress her.’
      talk constantly, talk endlessly, talk repeatedly, keep talking, go on, go on talking, go on and on, dwell on the subject, refer to repeatedly, repeat oneself, ramble on, rant on
      View synonyms
  • keep someone/something on

    • Continue to use or employ someone or something.

      • ‘In industries that were not heavily unionised, however, some women were kept on - not least because they were cheaper to employ than men.’
      • ‘Only 31 people have been kept on, to continue with its manufacturing operations until a new owner is found.’
      • ‘A small number have been kept on to tie up loose ends before it permanently closes its doors next month.’
      • ‘We've heard of other companies where, when contracts expired, people were kept on.’
      • ‘Most of the people he used to work with have been made redundant, but David has been kept on because he's brilliant at his job.’
      • ‘Forty workers were kept on to keep the business going until a sale was secured.’
      • ‘The 21 workers were kept on so the firm could be sold as a going concern by the receivers.’
      • ‘He was made a political correspondent and was kept on by the Telegraph when it took over the Morning Post.’
      • ‘The worker who lost his job said: ‘In January we were all assessed as to whether we would be kept on by the company - in effect reapplying for our jobs.’’
      • ‘There were 24 redundancies, although seven people were kept on by the administrators to retain the pallet area.’
      continue to employ, keep employing, carry on employing, retain in one's service, not dismiss, not sack, keep in one's employ, retain the services of
      View synonyms
  • keep out (or keep someone/something out)

    • Remain (or cause someone or something to remain) outside.

      ‘cover with cheesecloth to keep out flies’
      • ‘We had the doors open most of the day, with mesh screens to keep the bugs out and the cats in.’
      • ‘Screening windows and doors helps keep flies out of milk barns, pig parlors and homes.’
      • ‘Screens are good for keeping the bugs out, but they won't protect your kids.’
      • ‘When the gang threatened to park their caravans in the car park until they were paid, Mr Coates and members of the church put up a fence to keep them out.’
      • ‘He was a motorbiking enthusiast who kept a Rottweiler and had erected barbed wire around part of his garden fence to keep intruders out.’
      • ‘Now the nursery needs to find funding for a new metal fence to keep the thugs out.’
      • ‘A fence keeps people out, but you can still see the massive shell of the tree, and imagine its beauty, from the road.’
      • ‘They also use screening and filtration to keep insects out of rooms and sticky strips to catch those that do get in.’
      • ‘Even the parts that are fenced don't keep them out all the time.’
      • ‘Do we (the paying spectator) have to pay for yet another fence to keep us out of an area that we previously had access to?’
      exclude, deny access to, shut out, debar, disbar, bar, ban, prohibit, put an embargo on, embargo
      View synonyms
  • keep to

    • 1Avoid leaving (a path, road, or place).

      • ‘Special hi-tech cats' eyes have been set into the road to help drivers keep to the carriageway.’
      • ‘Near the folly, a sign reads ‘Danger please keep to path, dangerous crevasses’.’
      • ‘Mr Timm added that followers were permitted to meet the hunt wherever they came from, as long as they kept to the roads and did not stray on to the surrounding fields.’
      • ‘Cross the bridge and keep to the tarmac path from here which leads back to the car park.’
      • ‘And off I sailed, keeping to the main road which was quite dry, and well salted.’
      • ‘Traditionally at warm-up, teams keep to their respective ends of the pitch.’
      • ‘He added: ‘All we ask is that people stay away from livestock, keep to the paths and don't take dogs.’’
      • ‘Keep to the main access road which bears right and climbs gradually to the lane crossroads.’
      • ‘There are signs everywhere asking walkers not to cause further damage to the fragile moorland and to keep to the path, but it is obvious that many just don't care about the damage they cause.’
      • ‘She made up her mind that if she went one way, keeping to a straight path, she would eventually find the edge of the forest.’
      follow, follow closely, stick to, stay on
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Adhere to (a schedule).
        • ‘We will adhere to the deadlines and keep to the timetable.’
        • ‘Buses are getting later and later and drivers are getting more stressed out trying to keep to impossible schedules.’
        • ‘However, work is being halted following failure to keep to the deadlines for completing construction.’
        • ‘It is impossible to keep to any kind of schedule.’
        • ‘His only hope is that he won't be kept to a tight timetable.’
        • ‘If I can't keep to my routines I feel anxious.’
        • ‘Drivers and railway staff work under intense stress to keep to the tight timetables.’
        • ‘I kept to a regular schedule as much as possible, leaving myself the morning hours to get what I needed to do done and going to bed in the late afternoon.’
        • ‘He set a rigorous study schedule for himself and worked hard to keep to it.’
        • ‘The secret of keeping to an exercise schedule is to make it enjoyable and this man sure knows how to do it.’
      2. 1.2Observe (a promise).
        • ‘We could be crucial in scrutinising whether the government keeps to its promises about reconstruction.’
        • ‘We are trying to ensure Lincolnshire officials keep to that Government promise.’
        • ‘And let us all hope that this and future administrations keep to those promises.’
        • ‘If you keep to that promise and do all my chores for the rest of the year, then I won't speak a word of it to anyone else.’
        • ‘‘You made a solemn promise to your friends, keep to it,’ he advised them.’
        • ‘Either Zach made a promise to change, and kept to it, or she was out of his life forever.’
        • ‘However, the government has not kept to its promise.’
        • ‘I have managed to keep to my promise to get back to the gym.’
        • ‘Since 2000, the Executive has kept to its commitment to limit increases in the poundage rate to inflation.’
        • ‘I told you I am not running, and I am keeping to that promise.’
        obey, abide by, observe, follow, comply with, adhere to, act in accordance with, conform to, be governed by, respect, defer to
        View synonyms
      3. 1.3Confine or restrict oneself to.
        ‘nothing is more irritating than people who do not keep to the point’
        • ‘He has kept to the script so far, but needs to actually start putting figures on things.’
        • ‘To help you to keep to the point of your letter, you can draw up an outline to plan your letter.’
        • ‘To Manchester's credit they performed admirably and kept to their game plan right to the death.’
        • ‘They mostly skipped the ‘controversy’ and kept to interviews with the actors and theologians.’
        • ‘Ensure that topics of conversation are kept to literary or academic subjects.’
        • ‘Yet Edwards didn't lose his cool, kept to his talking points (even if he did so a little too much), and was occasionally downright charming.’
        • ‘This time I obeyed all the traffic rules and kept to a safe speed.’
        • ‘Instead, the vast majority of people who drive sensibly and keep to speed limits will have to live with ridiculous restrictions and longer queues as a result.’
        • ‘Although now I drank a wide range of fluids I still kept to the restricted salad, fruit and lean food diet.’
        • ‘If Labour is hoping for a nice, tidy Scottish campaign, where everybody keeps to non-devolved issues and avoids the Scottish dimension, it could be in for a surprise.’
        stick to, restrict oneself to, confine oneself to
        View synonyms
  • keep someone under

    • Hold a person or group in subjection.

      ‘the local people are kept under by the army’
      • ‘Hungary was then regarded at Vienna as a conquered realm, whose naturally rebellious inhabitants could only be kept under by force of arms.’
      • ‘Before that time comes, he will have conquered our kingdom and our people and our cities, and kept them under by force of arms for many years.’
      • ‘the true church is very much kept under by its enemies.’
      keep in subjection, keep in submission, hold down, keep down, keep under one's thumb, subdue, subject, suppress, repress, oppress, tyrannize over, tyrannize
      View synonyms
  • keep up

    • 1Move or progress at the same rate as someone or something else.

      ‘often they had to pause to allow him to keep up’
      • ‘During the same period the typical investor lost 10 percent of his or her portfolio and workers' wages barely kept up with the rate of inflation.’
      • ‘Unions have been broken and pay has not kept up with inflation.’
      • ‘This ensured that state pensions kept up with the rate at which salaries were rising.’
      • ‘Some private economists believe the central bank should become more aggressive in raising interest rates, which haven't kept up with the recent acceleration in prices.’
      • ‘The level of funding increase that has been provided for schools and early childhood centres has not even kept up with the rate of inflation.’
      • ‘As a result, U.S. factories haven't kept up with foreign rivals.’
      • ‘On weekends, I found that I could actually keep up with my husband when we went hiking or biking.’
      • ‘And when the pair split up to try to lose him, he kept up with one and finally managed to arrest him on the Beswick estate in Manchester.’
      • ‘Ministry grants have not kept up with rising costs of education, including salary increases for teachers and support staff, and rising costs of utilities and supplies.’
      • ‘The truckers’ pay rates have not kept up with increasing fuel prices and maintenance costs.’
      keep pace, keep abreast
      keep pace with, keep abreast of
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Meet a commitment to pay or do something regularly.
        ‘if you do not keep up with the payments, the loan company can make you sell your home’
        • ‘Despite everything she's been through she's always kept up with her school work.’
        • ‘Millions of middle-class families like these are working hard and trying to get ahead, but they just can't keep up with the health care costs.’
        • ‘Janny felt healthier and had enough energy to keep up with her commitments.’
        • ‘She has kept up with her exercise regime whereas mine has started and floundered quite a few times.’
        • ‘According to the National Consumer Council, about six million families are already struggling to keep up with credit commitments at a time when borrowing is rising.’
        • ‘Provided creditors agree, and the debtor keeps up with the payments laid out in the trust deed, he will usually be discharged from any remaining debt after three years.’
        • ‘If you don't keep up with repairs then things begin to deteriorate.’
        • ‘It encourages my child to attend college regularly and punctually and keep up with the course work.’
        • ‘I'm going to try to keep up with five updates a week, I really am.’
        • ‘Throughout filming she has kept up with her school work by email and is very level-headed.’
  • keep up with

    • 1Learn about or be aware of (current events or developments).

      • ‘He thinks that some professionals aren't keeping up with the latest developments.’
      • ‘I keep up with news and current events, and love interacting with people in new situations.’
      • ‘She kept up with all the news of the day and took a keen interest in local and national events.’
      • ‘In order to keep up with current events throughout the world, I watch the news in the morning.’
      • ‘She may have been far from clever, but she certainly kept up with all the palace's gossip.’
      • ‘It is a place where pensioners meet other pensioners and keep up with news.’
      • ‘Somewhere along the way he admits that he became disillusioned with the art world and, though he keeps up with its developments, he has not lifted a paintbrush in years.’
      • ‘His work was based on the mathematics he learnt as a student and he appears not to have kept up with new developments.’
      • ‘It must be both fascinating and frustrating to be a medical doctor and have to keep up with all the research and new evidence that may be against accepted practices.’
      • ‘Keeping up with science is probably easier than keeping up with current affairs.’
      keep informed about, keep up to date with, keep in touch with, not lose track of, keep abreast of, keep an eye on, learn about, retain an interest in
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Continue to be in contact with (someone).
        • ‘It was very interesting to see how people were doing, but there were no surprise recognitions of people I should really have kept up with and haven't.’
        • ‘I kept up with Timmy for a while, but as often happens, once we no longer saw each other weekly, the emails became less and less frequent until they stopped.’
        • ‘We were loved and cherished by the most extraordinary teachers, whom I actually kept up with in later life.’
        • ‘Then we were chatting more, and eventually keeping up with each other outside of work.’
        • ‘They each spend about seven to 10 hours a week keeping up with all of their contacts.’
        • ‘We had all visited him regularly to keep up with each other, and I for one, wrote a letter to him every week.’
        • ‘I haven't kept up with either of them, but I hear from them and every once in a while I'll see Brad on the circuit.’
        remain in contact with, stay in touch with, maintain contact with, remain in correspondence with, remain in communication with, keep up one's friendship with, remain acquainted with
        View synonyms
  • keep someone up

    • Prevent someone from going to bed or to sleep.

      • ‘Try as I might, once again the noise kept me up and I couldn't sleep.’
      • ‘It keeps you up for days, takes away all inhibitions and is as addictive if not more so than heroin.’
      • ‘I can't even remember all the classes I slept through because you kept me up all night.’
      • ‘It was painful enough last week that I had to call in a sick day as the pain kept me up most of the night.’
      • ‘What kept you up so late, I thought you were coming to bed?’
      • ‘He kept us up until well past 4am with hilarious stories of an actor's life.’
      • ‘So, are you planning to get some sleep, or are you planning to keep me up?’
      • ‘Thoughts like these kept Deirdre up most of the night, and she got little sleep.’
      • ‘The fact is, some foods promote sleep, while others are bound to keep you up at night.’
      • ‘My mom says I slept all day and kept her up at nights.’
  • keep something up

    • 1Maintain or preserve something in the existing state; continue a course of action.

      ‘keep up the good work’
      • ‘She gets top marks in every class and I know she will have a bright future if she keeps this up.’
      • ‘I've been slowly working up to getting up earlier (I had been getting up around 11 a.m.) and have kept it up most of the week.’
      • ‘I didn't really keep it up continuously, but practiced occasionally in college.’
      • ‘How long were you planning on keeping this childish play up?’
      • ‘As a result I'm spending about £10 a week less than I was and I intend to keep it up.’
      • ‘I was happy with the hunger we showed and I felt that if we kept it up we were in with a chance.’
      • ‘So as long as this egoistic propaganda is kept up, India will continue to get the better of any encounters in the battlefield.’
      • ‘If it was just an act, how could anyone have kept it up so convincingly for more than 20 years, without giving a glimpse of something intelligent underneath.’
      • ‘I kept it up for a few years, until I was twelve or so, and then I gave it up on my own.’
      • ‘Articles like yours allow me to maintain faith in the American people - keep it up and may your voice get louder and louder!’
      continue, keep on with, continue with, go on with, carry on with, persist with, persevere with
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Keep something in an efficient or proper state.
        ‘the new owners could not afford to keep up the grounds’
        • ‘I've thought that the ugly house was the home of someone old and ill, someone who couldn't afford to keep it up, someone whose entire life was confined to one small room upstairs.’
        • ‘My father-in-law has become quite ill and it's becoming increasingly difficult for my mother-in-law to keep up the house.’
        • ‘We still can use volunteers to help keep up the garden.’
        • ‘Volunteers help keep up the park through the seasons.’
        • ‘There is generally a tighter management of the properties because Mum and Dad say, ‘You keep it up or the rents goes up’.’’
      2. 1.2Make something remain at a high level.
        ‘he was whistling to keep up his spirits’
        • ‘Catherine said: ‘It was pretty hard but luckily I had a lot of people who supported me and got me through and kept my confidence up.’’
        • ‘The Consumers Association has been supportive of our moves to try and keep standards up.’
        • ‘We've got to show support for these young children to keep their enthusiasm up to become professional players.’
        • ‘‘I am feeling better every day, and all the good wishes of the many who have written have certainly kept my spirits up,’ she said.’
        • ‘Well, I'm older, and so I have to keep the energy level up.’
        • ‘She would tell me to pull myself together and kept my spirits up.’
        • ‘It is all done with a flowing pace that keeps the interest level up, managing to be both educational and entertaining.’
        • ‘We kept her spirits up and she has shown tremendous courage and determination.’
        • ‘All of the support helps to keep their morale up.’
        • ‘With cases of vomiting there is a risk of dehydration among children, so parents should make sure fluid levels are kept up.’

Origin

Late Old English cēpan ‘seize, take in’, also ‘care for, attend to’, of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

keep

/kip//kēp/