keep [kēp]
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 prescribed acts, ceremonies, etc.; celebrate or solemnize [to keep the Sabbath]
b) to fulfill (a promise, etc.)
c) to follow or adhere to (a routine, diet, etc.)
d) to go on maintaining [to keep pace]
e) Archaic to attend (church, etc.) regularly
2. to take care of, or have and take care or charge of; specif.,
a) to protect; guard; defend
b) to look after; watch over; tend
c) to raise (livestock)
d) to maintain in good order or condition; preserve
e) to supply with food, shelter, etc.; provide for; support
f) to supply with food or lodging for pay [to keep boarders]
g) to have or maintain in one's service or for one's use [to keep servants]
h) to set down regularly in writing; maintain (a continuous written record) [to keep an account of sales]
i) to make regular entries in; maintain a continuous record of transactions, accounts, or happenings in [to keep books of account, to keep a diary]
j) to carry on; conduct; manage
3. to maintain, or cause to stay or continue, in a specified condition, position, etc. [to keep an engine running]
4. to have or hold; specif.,
a) to have or hold for future use or for a long time
b) to have regularly in stock for sale
5. to have or hold and not let go; specif.,
a) to hold in custody; prevent from escaping
b) to prevent from leaving; detain
c) to hold back; restrain [to keep someone from talking]
d) to withhold
e) to conceal; not tell (a secret, etc.)
f) to continue to have or hold; not lose or give up
g) to stay in or at; not leave (a path, course, or place)
1. to stay or continue in a specified condition, position, etc.
2. to continue; go on; persevere or persist: often with on [to keep on talking]
3. to hold oneself back; refrain [to keep from telling someone]
4. to stay in good condition; not become spoiled, sour, stale, etc.; last
5. to require no immediate attention [a task that will keep until tomorrow ]
6. Informal to continue in session [will school keep all day?]
7. Now Rare to reside; live; stay
1. Obs. care, charge, or custody
a) the strongest, innermost part or central tower of a medieval castle; donjon
b) a stronghold; fort; castle
3. Rare a keeping or being kept
4. what is needed to maintain a person or animal; food and shelter; support; livelihood
☆ for keeps Informal
1. with the agreement that the winner will keep what he or she wins
2. forever; permanently
keep at
to continue doing, practicing, etc.; persist in (an activity)
keep in with
Informal to remain on good terms with
keep time
1. to maintain a set rhythm, beat, tempo, etc. [the drummers kept time for the marching band]
2. to mark the elapsing of time [this watch keeps good time]
keep to
1. to persevere in
2. to avoid swerving from; adhere to
3. to remain in
keep to oneself
1. to avoid the company of others
2. to treat (information, etc.) as confidential; not tell
keep up
1. to maintain in good order or condition
2. to continue; not stop or end
3. to maintain the pace; not lag behind
4. to remain informed about: with on or with
keep up with
to go or do as fast as; stay even with
keep up with the Joneses
to strive to get all the material things one's neighbors or associates have

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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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 — ► 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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