Keep meaning

kēp
To have or hold and not let go.
  • To hold in custody; prevent from escaping.
  • To prevent from leaving; detain.
  • To hold back; restrain.
    To keep someone from talking.
  • To withhold.
  • To conceal; not tell (a secret, etc.)
  • To continue to have or hold; not lose or give up.
  • To stay in or at; not leave (a path, course, or place)
verb
8
3
Care; charge.

The child is in my keep for the day.

noun
5
4
To manage, tend, or have charge of.

Keep the shop while I'm away.

verb
3
0
To cause to continue in a state, condition, or course of action.

Tried to keep the patient calm.

verb
3
4
Keep is defined as to hold, or retain something, or it can mean to continue doing something.

An example of to keep is for a person to place all of her money in a savings account.

An example of to keep is to continue searching until you find a job.

verb
2
0
Advertisement
To be faithful to; fulfill.

Keep one's word.

verb
2
0
To take care of, or have and take care or charge of.
  • To protect; guard; defend.
  • To look after; watch over; tend.
  • To raise (livestock)
  • To maintain in good order or condition; preserve.
  • To supply with food, shelter, etc.; provide for; support.
  • To supply with food or lodging for pay.
    To keep boarders.
  • To have or maintain in one's service or for one's use.
    To keep servants.
  • To set down regularly in writing; maintain (a continuous written record)
    To keep an account of sales.
  • To make regular entries in; maintain a continuous record of transactions, accounts, or happenings in.
    To keep books of account, to keep a diary.
  • To carry on; conduct; manage.
verb
2
0
(copulative) To remain in a state.

The rabbit avoided detection by keeping still.

Keep calm! There's no need to panic.

verb
2
0
(intransitive, cricket) To act as wicket-keeper.

Godfrey Evans kept for England for many years.

verb
2
0
To observe; to adhere to; to fulfill; not to swerve from or violate.
verb
2
0
Advertisement
(dated) To confine oneself to; not to quit; to remain in.

To keep one's house, room, bed, etc.

verb
2
0
(dated, by extension) To visit (a place) often; to frequent.
verb
2
0
To have as a supply.

Keep spare parts in case of emergency.

verb
1
0
To celebrate; observe.

Keep the Sabbath.

verb
1
0
To remain in a state or condition; stay.

Keep in line; keep quiet; kept well.

verb
1
0
Advertisement
To continue to do.

Keep on talking; keep guessing.

verb
1
0
To remain fresh or unspoiled.

The dessert won't keep.

verb
1
0
To restrain oneself; hold oneself back.

I couldn't keep from eavesdropping.

verb
1
0
The means by which one is supported.

Earn one's keep.

noun
1
0
To have or hold.
  • To have or hold for future use or for a long time.
  • To have regularly in stock for sale.
verb
1
0
Advertisement
To stay or continue in a specified condition, position, etc.
verb
1
0
To continue; go on; persevere or persist.

To keep on talking.

verb
1
0
To hold oneself back; refrain.

To keep from telling someone.

verb
1
0
To stay in good condition; not become spoiled, sour, stale, etc.; last.
verb
1
0
To require no immediate attention.

A task that will keep until tomorrow.

verb
1
0
Advertisement
(informal) To continue in session.

Will school keep all day?

verb
1
0
(now rare) To reside; live; stay.
verb
1
0
(obs.) Care, charge, or custody.
noun
1
0
(rare) A keeping or being kept.
noun
1
0
What is needed to maintain a person or animal; food and shelter; support; livelihood.
noun
1
0
Advertisement
To continue in (a course or mode of action); not to intermit or fall from; to maintain.

To keep silence; to keep one's word; to keep possession.

verb
1
0
To hold the status of something.
  • I keep a small stock of painkillers for emergencies.
  • To maintain the condition of.
    I keep my specimens under glass to protect them.
    The abundance of squirrels kept the dogs running for hours.
  • To record transactions, accounts, or events in.
    I used to keep a diary.
  • To enter (accounts, records, etc.) in a book.
  • (archaic) To remain in, to be confined to.
  • I keep my brother out of trouble by keeping him away from his friends and hard at work.
  • (with from) To protect, guard.
    May the Lord keep you from harm.
  • To supply with necessities and financially support a person.
    He kept a mistress for over ten years.
  • (of living things) To raise; to care for.
    He has been keeping orchids since retiring.
  • To maintain (an establishment or institution); to conduct; to manage.
  • To have habitually in stock for sale.
verb
1
0

I keep taking the tablets, but to no avail.

verb
1
0
To remain edible or otherwise usable.

Potatoes can keep if they are in a root cellar.

Latex paint won't keep indefinitely.

verb
1
0
(historical) The main tower of a castle or fortress, located within the castle walls. (According to keep, the word comes "from the Middle English term kype, meaning basket or cask, and was a term applied to the shell keep at Guînes, said to resemble a barrel".)
noun
1
0
Advertisement
The food or money required to keep someone alive and healthy; one's support, maintenance.

He works as a cobbler's apprentice for his keep.

noun
1
0
To retain possession of.

Kept the change; must keep your composure.

verb
1
1
To put customarily; store.

Where do you keep your saw?

verb
1
1
To maintain for use or service.

An urbanite who didn't keep a car.

verb
1
1
To preserve (food).
verb
1
1
Advertisement
To adhere or conform to; follow.

Keep late hours.

verb
1
1
To observe or pay regard to.
  • To observe with due or prescribed acts, ceremonies, etc.; celebrate or solemnize.
    To keep the Sabbath.
  • To fulfill (a promise, etc.)
  • To follow or adhere to (a routine, diet, etc.)
  • To go on maintaining.
    To keep pace.
  • (archaic) To attend (church, etc.) regularly.
verb
1
1
To maintain, or cause to stay or continue, in a specified condition, position, etc.

To keep an engine running.

verb
1
1
for keeps
  • For an indefinitely long period:
    Gave the ring to me for keeps.
  • Seriously and permanently:
    We're separating for keeps.
idiom
1
0
keep an eye on
  • To watch over attentively; mind.
  • To watch closely or carefully:
    Keep your eye on the ball.
idiom
1
0
Advertisement
keep an eye out
  • To be watchful.
idiom
1
0
keep a stiff upper lip
  • To be courageous or stoic in the face of adversity.
idiom
1
0
keep company
  • To carry on a courtship:
    A couple who kept company but never married.
  • To socialize or associate:
    Keeps company with some tough thugs.
idiom
1
0
keep (one's) chin up
  • To be stalwart, courageous, or optimistic in the face of difficulty.
idiom
1
0
keep (one's) eyes open
  • To be on the lookout.
idiom
1
0
Advertisement
(informal) keep (one's) nose clean
  • To stay out of trouble.
idiom
2
0
keep pace
  • To stay even with others, as in a contest.
idiom
2
0
keep (someone) company
  • To accompany or remain with.
idiom
2
0
keep the wolf from the door
  • To avoid the privation and suffering resulting from a lack of money:
    Both spouses had to work in order to keep the wolf from the door.
idiom
2
0
keep time
  • To indicate the correct time.
  • To maintain the tempo or rhythm.
idiom
1
0
keep to (oneself)
  • To shun the company of others:
    She kept to herself all morning.
  • To refrain from divulging:
    He kept the news to himself.
idiom
1
0
(informal) for keeps
  • with the agreement that the winner will keep what he or she wins
  • forever; permanently
idiom
1
0
keep at
  • to continue doing, practicing, etc.; persist in (an activity)
idiom
1
0
keep in with
  • to remain on good terms with
idiom
1
0
keep to
  • to persevere in
  • to avoid swerving from; adhere to
  • to remain in
idiom
1
0
keep to oneself
  • to avoid the company of others
  • to treat (information, etc.) as confidential; not tell
idiom
1
0
keep up
  • to maintain in good order or condition
  • to continue; not stop or end
  • to maintain the pace; not lag behind
  • to remain informed about
idiom
1
0
keep up with
  • to go or do as fast as; stay even with
idiom
2
0
keep up with the Joneses
  • to strive to get all the material things one's neighbors or associates have
idiom
1
0

Origin of keep

  • Middle English kepen from Old English cēpan to observe, seize

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English kepen (“to keep, guard, look after, watch”), from Old English cēpan (“to seize, hold, observe”), from Proto-Germanic *kōpijaną (compare West Frisian kypje ‘to look’), variant of *kapōną (compare Old English capian ‘to look’, Dutch kapen ‘to seize, snatch’, German gaffen ‘to gape’, Danish kope (“to gawk, stare”)), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵab-, *ǵāb- (“to look after”) (compare Lithuanian žẽbti ‘to eat reluctantly’, Russian забота (zabota) ‘care, worry’).

    From Wiktionary