- To retain possession of: kept the change; must keep your composure.
- To have as a supply: keep an ax in the shed.
- To provide (a family, for example) with maintenance and support: "There's little to earn and many to keep” ( Charles Kingsley).
- To support (a mistress or lover) financially.
- To put customarily; store: Where do you keep your saw?
- To supply with room and board for a charge: keep boarders.
- To raise: keep chickens.
- To maintain for use or service: an urbanite who didn't keep a car.
- To manage, tend, or have charge of: Keep the shop while I'm away.
- To preserve (food).
- To cause to continue in a state, condition, or course of action: tried to keep the patient calm.
- To maintain records in: keep a yearly diary.
- To enter (data) in a book: keep financial records.
- To detain: was kept after school.
- To restrain: kept the child away from the stove; kept the crowd back with barriers.
- To prevent or deter: tried to keep the ice from melting.
- To refrain from divulging: keep a secret.
- To save; reserve: keep extra money for emergencies.
- To adhere or conform to; follow: keep late hours.
- To be faithful to; fulfill: keep one's word.
- To celebrate; observe.
- To remain in a state or condition; stay: keep in line; keep quiet; kept well.
- To continue to do: keep on talking; keep guessing.
- To remain fresh or unspoiled: The dessert won't keep.
- To restrain oneself; hold oneself back: I couldn't keep from eavesdropping.
- Care; charge: The child is in my keep for the day.
- The means by which one is supported: earn one's keep.
- The stronghold of a castle.
- A jail.
- keep at To persevere in work or an action.
- keep down To prevent from growing, accomplishing, or succeeding: keep the revolutionaries down.
- keep down To hold under control or at a reduced level: Keep your voice down.
- keep down To refrain from vomiting: Although seasick, I managed to keep my food down.
- keep off To stay away from.
- keep to To adhere to: keep to the original purpose.
- keep up To maintain in good condition: kept up the property.
- keep up To persevere in; carry on: We asked her to stop talking, but she kept it up.
- keep up To preserve or sustain: kept up the appearance of friendship.
- keep up To continue at the same level or pace: The snow kept up all day.
- keep up To continue to pay off (a financial obligation).
- keep up To match one's competitors, colleagues, or neighbors in success or lifestyle: couldn't keep up with his friends who went into business.
- keep up To remain adequately informed: loved to keep up on the gossip.
- for keeps For an indefinitely long period: gave the ring to me for keeps.
- for keeps Seriously and permanently: We're separating for keeps.
- keep an eye on To watch over attentively; mind.
- keep an eye on To watch closely or carefully: keep your eye on the ball.
- keep an eye out To be watchful.
- keep a stiff upper lip To be courageous or stoic in the face of adversity.
- keep company To carry on a courtship: a couple who kept company but never married.
- keep company To socialize or associate: keeps company with some tough thugs.
- keep (one's) chin up To be stalwart, courageous, or optimistic in the face of difficulty.
- open To be on the lookout.
- keep (one's) nose clean Informal To stay out of trouble.
- keep pace To stay even with others, as in a contest.
- keep (someone) company To accompany or remain with.
- 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.
- keep time To indicate the correct time.
- keep time Music To maintain the tempo or rhythm.
- keep to (oneself) To shun the company of others: She kept to herself all morning.
- keep to (oneself) To refrain from divulging: He kept the news to himself.
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