Meaning of KEEP in English
/ kiːp; NAmE / verb , noun
( kept , kept / kept; NAmE /)
to stay in a particular condition or position; to make sb/sth do this :
[ v - adj ]
We huddled together to keep warm.
[ v + adv. / prep. ]
The notice said 'Keep off (= Do not walk on) the grass'.
Keep left along the wall.
[ vn - adj ]
She kept the children amused for hours.
[ vn , usually + adv. / prep. ]
He kept his coat on.
Don't keep us in suspense —what happened next?
She had trouble keeping her balance .
[ vn -ing ]
I'm very sorry to keep you waiting .
[ v -ing ] keep (on) doing sth to continue doing sth; to do sth repeatedly :
Don't keep on interrupting me!
[ vn ] to delay sb :
You're an hour late—what kept you?
SYN hold sb up
NOT GIVE BACK
[ vn ] to continue to have sth and not give it back or throw it away :
Here's a five dollar bill—please keep the change .
I keep all her letters.
SAVE FOR SB
keep sth (for sb) | keep sb sth ( especially BrE ) to save sth for sb :
[ vn , vnn ]
Please keep a seat for me.
Please keep me a seat.
PUT / STORE
[ vn + adv. / prep. ] to put or store sth in a particular place :
Keep your passport in a safe place.
SHOP / RESTAURANT
[ vn ] ( especially BrE ) to own and manage a shop / store or restaurant :
Her father kept a grocer's shop.
[ vn ] to own and care for animals :
to keep bees / goats / hens
[ v + adv. / prep. ] ( informal ) used to ask or talk about sb's health :
How is your mother keeping ?
We're all keeping well.
[ v ] to remain in good condition :
Finish off the pie—it won't keep.
( informal , figurative )
'I'd love to hear about it, but I'm late already.' 'That's OK— it'll keep (= I can tell you about it later) .
keep a secret | keep sth secret (from sb) to know sth and not tell it to anyone :
[ vn ]
Can you keep a secret?
[ vn - adj ]
She kept her past secret from us all.
PROMISE / APPOINTMENT
[ vn ] keep your promise / word | keep an appointment to do what you have promised to do; to go where you have agreed to go :
She kept her promise to visit them.
He failed to keep his appointment at the clinic.
DIARY / RECORD
[ vn ] keep a diary, an account, a record, etc. to write down sth as a record :
She kept a diary for over twenty years.
Keep a note of where each item can be found.
[ vn ] to provide what is necessary for sb to live; to support sb by paying for food, etc. :
He scarcely earns enough to keep himself and his family.
[ vn ] keep sb (from sth) ( formal ) to protect sb from sth :
May the Lord bless you and keep you (= used in prayers in the Christian Church) .
His only thought was to keep the boy from harm.
[ vn ] keep goal / wicket ( BrE ) ( in football ( soccer ), hockey , cricket , etc. ) to guard or protect the goal or wicket
—see also goalkeeper , wicketkeeper
Most idioms containing keep are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example keep house is at house .
- keep going
- keep sb going
- keep sb after
- keep at sth
- keep sb at sth
- keep away (from sb/sth)
- keep sb/sth away (from sb/sth)
- keep back (from sb/sth)
- keep sb back
- keep sb back (from sb/sth)
- keep sth back
- keep sth back (from sb)
- keep down
- keep sb down
- keep sth down
- keep from sth | keep yourself from sth
- keep sb from sth
- keep sth from sb
- keep sth from sth
- keep in with sb
- keep sth in
- keep sb in
- keep sb / yourself in sth
- keep off
- keep off sth
- keep sb/sth off | keep sb/sth off sb/sth
- keep on
- keep sb on
- keep sth on
- keep on (at sb) (about sb/sth)
- keep out (of sth)
- keep sb/sth out (of sth)
- keep out of sth | keep sb out of sth
- keep to sth
- keep (yourself) to yourself
- keep sth to yourself
- keep sb under
- keep up
- keep up (with sb/sth)
- keep up with sb
- keep up with sth
- keep sb up
- keep sth up
[ U ] food, clothes and all the other things that a person needs to live; the cost of these things :
It's about time you got a job to earn your keep .
[ C ] a large strong tower, built as part of an old castle
- for keeps
—more at earn
late Old English cēpan seize, take in , also care for, attend to , of unknown origin.
Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне. 2005