keep ( keeps plural & 3rd person present) ( keeping present participle) ( kept past tense & past participle )
1 v-link If someone keeps or is kept in a particular state, they remain in it.
The noise kept him awake... V n adj/prep
To keep warm they burnt wood in a rusty oil barrel... V adj/prep
For several years I kept in touch with her. V adj/prep
2 verb If you keep or you are kept in a particular position or place, you remain in it.
Keep away from the doors while the train is moving... V adv/prep
He kept his head down, hiding his features... V n with adv
Doctors will keep her in hospital for at least another week. V n prep
3 verb If you keepoff something or keepaway from it, you avoid it. If you keepout of something, you avoid getting involved in it. You can also say that you keep someone off, away from or out of something.
I managed to stick to the diet and keep off sweet foods... V prep/adv
The best way to keep babies off sugar is to go back to the natural diet and eat lots of fresh fruit. V n prep/adv
4 verb If someone or something keeps you from a particular action, they prevent you from doing it.
Embarrassment has kept me from doing all sorts of things... V n from -ing
5 verb If you try to keepfrom doing something, you try to stop yourself from doing it.
She bit her lip to keep from crying... V from -ing
6 verb If you keep something from someone, you do not tell them about it.
She knew that Gabriel was keeping something from her. V n from n
7 verb If you keep doing something, you do it repeatedly or continue to do it.
I keep forgetting it's December... V -ing
I turned back after a while, but he kept walking... V -ing
Keep on means the same as keep., phrasal verb
Did he give up or keep on trying?... V P -ing
8 verb Keep is used with some nouns to indicate that someone does something for a period of time or continues to do it. For example, if you keep a gripon something, you continue to hold or control it.
Until last year, the regime kept a tight grip on the country... V n
One of them would keep a look-out on the road behind to warn us of approaching vehicles... V n
9 verb If you keep something, you continue to have it in your possession and do not throw it away, give it away, or sell it.
Lathan had to choose between marrying her and keeping his job. V n
10 verb If you keep something in a particular place, you always have it or store it in that place so that you can use it whenever you need it.
She kept her money under the mattress... V n prep/adv
To make it easier to contact us, keep this card handy. V n adj
11 verb When you keep something such as a promise or an appointment, you do what you said you would do.
I'm hoping you'll keep your promise to come for a long visit... V n
12 verb If you keep a record of a series of events, you write down details of it so that they can be referred to later.
Eleanor began to keep a diary... V n
13 verb If you keep yourself or keep someone else, you support yourself or the other person by earning enough money to provide food, clothing, money, and other necessary things.
She could just about afford to keep her five kids... V n
I just cannot afford to keep myself... V pron-refl
The pay was enough to keep him in whisky for a day or two. V n in n
14 n-sing Someone's keep is the cost of food and other things that they need in their daily life.
Ray will earn his keep on local farms while studying...
15 verb If you keep animals, you own them and take care of them.
I've brought you some eggs. We keep chickens... V n
16 verb If someone or something keeps you, they delay you and make you late.
`What kept you?'<emdash>`I went in the wrong direction.' V n
17 verb If food keeps for a certain length of time, it stays fresh and suitable to eat for that time.
Whatever is left over may be put into the refrigerator, where it will keep for 2-3 weeks. V
18 verb You can say or ask how someone is keeping as a way of saying or asking whether they are well.
She hasn't been keeping too well lately... V adv
19 n-count A keep is the main tower of a medieval castle, in which people lived.
20 If you keep at it, you continue doing something that you have started, even if you are tired and would prefer to stop.
to keep at it phrase V inflects
It may take a number of attempts, but it is worth keeping at it...
21 If you keep going, you continue moving along or doing something that you have started, even if you are tired and would prefer to stop.
to keep going phrase keep inflects
She forced herself to keep going...
22 If one thing is in keepingwith another, it is suitable in relation to that thing. If one thing is out of keepingwith another, it is not suitable in relation to that thing.
in/out of keeping phrase v-link PHR, PHR with cl, oft PHR with n
His office was in keeping with his station and experience...
23 If you keep it up, you continue working or trying as hard as you have been in the past.
to keep it up phrase V inflects
You're doing a great job! Keep it up!
24 If you keep something toyourself, you do not tell anyone else about it.
to keep sth to yourself phrase V inflects
I have to tell someone. I can't keep it to myself...
25 If you keepyourselftoyourself or keep toyourself, you stay on your own most of the time and do not mix socially with other people.
to keep (yourself) to yourself phrase V inflects (Antonym: socialize)
He was a quiet man who kept himself to himself...
to keep someone company
to keep a straight face
to keep your head
to keep pace
to keep the peace
to keep a secret
to keep time
to keep track
track keep back
1 phrasal verb If you keep back part of something, you do not use or give away all of it, so that you still have some to use at a later time.
(=set aside, hold back)
Roughly chop the vegetables, and keep back a little to chop finely and serve as a garnish. V P n (not pron), Also V n P
2 phrasal verb If you keep some information back, you do not tell all that you know about something.
Neither of them is telling the whole truth. Invariably, they keep something back. V n P, Also V P n (not pron) keep down
1 phrasal verb If you keep the number, size, or amount of something down, you do not let it get bigger or go higher.
The prime aim is to keep inflation down... V n P
Administration costs were kept down to just £460. V P n (not pron)
2 phrasal verb If someone keeps a group of people down, they prevent them from getting power and status and being completely free.
No matter what a woman tries to do to improve her situation, there is some barrier or attitude to keep her down. V n P, Also V P n (not pron)
3 phrasal verb If you keep food or drink down, you manage to swallow it properly and not vomit, even though you feel sick.
I tried to give her something to drink but she couldn't keep it down. V n P keep on
2 phrasal verb If you keep someone on, you continue to employ them, for example after they are old enough to retire or after other employees have lost their jobs.
Sometimes they keep you on a bit longer if there's no one quite ready to step into your shoes... V n P keep on about phrasal verb If you say that someone keeps on about something, you mean that they keep talking about it in a boring way.
(=go on about)
He kept on about me being `defensive'. V P P n keep on at phrasal verb If you keep on at someone, you repeatedly ask or tell them something in a way that annoys them.
You've constantly got to keep on at people about that... V P P n
She kept on at him to get some qualifications. V P P n to-inf keep to
1 phrasal verb If you keep to a rule, plan, or agreement, you do exactly what you are expected or supposed to do.
You've got to keep to the speed limit... V P n
2 phrasal verb If you keep to something such as a path or river, you do not move away from it as you go somewhere.
Please keep to the paths. V P n
3 phrasal verb If you keep to a particular subject, you talk only about that subject, and do not talk about anything else.
Let's keep to the subject, or you'll get me too confused. V P n
4 phrasal verb If you keep something to a particular number or quantity, you limit it to that number or quantity.
Keep costs to a minimum. V n P n keep up
1 phrasal verb If you keep upwith someone or something that is moving near you, you move at the same speed.
She shook her head and started to walk on. He kept up with her. V P with n, Also V P
2 phrasal verb To keep upwith something that is changing means to be able to cope with the change, usually by changing at the same rate.
...wage increases which keep up with inflation... V P with n
Things are changing so fast, it's hard to keep up. V P
3 phrasal verb If you keep upwith your work or with other people, you manage to do or understand all your work, or to do or understand it as well as other people.
Penny tended to work through her lunch hour in an effort to keep up with her work... V P with n
Life is tough for kids who aren't keeping up in school. V P
4 phrasal verb If you keep upwith what is happening, you make sure that you know about it.
She did not bother to keep up with the news. V P with n, Also V P
5 phrasal verb If you keep something up, you continue to do it or provide it.
I was so hungry all the time that I could not keep the diet up for longer than a month... V n P
They risk losing their homes because they can no longer keep up the repayments. V P n (not pron)
6 phrasal verb If you keep something up, you prevent it from growing less in amount, level, or degree.
There will be a major incentive among TV channels to keep standards up... V n P
Opposition forces are keeping up the pressure against the government. V P n (not pron)
keep-fit , keep fit
Keep-fit is the activity of keeping your body in good condition by doing special exercises.
(mainly BRIT) n-uncount oft N n