To keep back
Keep 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 kepe not of armes for to yelp [boast]. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. To hold; to restrain from departure or removal; not to let go of; to retain in one's power or possession; not to lose; to retain; to detain. [1913 Webster]

If we lose the field, We can not keep the town. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

That I may know what keeps me here with you. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

If we would weigh and keep in our minds what we are considering, that would instruct us. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

3. To cause to remain in a given situation or condition; to maintain unchanged; to hold or preserve in any state or tenor. [1913 Webster]

His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Keep a stiff rein, and move but gently on. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

Note: In this sense it is often used with prepositions and adverbs, as to keep away, to keep down, to keep from, to keep in, out, or off, etc. ``To keep off impertinence and solicitation from his superior.'' --Addison. [1913 Webster]

4. To have in custody; to have in some place for preservation; to take charge of. [1913 Webster]

The crown of Stephanus, first king of Hungary, was always kept in the castle of Vicegrade. --Knolles. [1913 Webster]

5. To preserve from danger, harm, or loss; to guard. [1913 Webster]

Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee. --Gen. xxviii. 15. [1913 Webster]

6. To preserve from discovery or publicity; not to communicate, reveal, or betray, as a secret. [1913 Webster]

Great are thy virtues . . . though kept from man. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

7. To attend upon; to have the care of; to tend. [1913 Webster]

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it. --Gen. ii. 15. [1913 Webster]

In her girlish age, she kept sheep on the moor. --Carew. [1913 Webster]

8. To record transactions, accounts, or events in; as, to keep books, a journal, etc.; also, to enter (as accounts, records, etc. ) in a book. [1913 Webster]

9. To maintain, as an establishment, institution, or the like; to conduct; to manage; as, to keep store. [1913 Webster]

Like a pedant that keeps a school. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Every one of them kept house by himself. --Hayward. [1913 Webster]

10. To supply with necessaries of life; to entertain; as, to keep boarders. [1913 Webster]

11. To have in one's service; to have and maintain, as an assistant, a servant, a mistress, a horse, etc. [1913 Webster]

I keep but three men and a boy. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

12. To have habitually in stock for sale. [1913 Webster]

13. To continue in, as a course or mode of action; not to intermit or fall from; to hold to; to maintain; as, to keep silence; to keep one's word; to keep possession. [1913 Webster]

Both day and night did we keep company. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Within this portal as I kept my watch. --Smollett. [1913 Webster]

14. To observe; to adhere to; to fulfill; not to swerve from or violate; to practice or perform, as duty; not to neglect; to be faithful to. [1913 Webster]

I have kept the faith. --2 Tim. iv. 7. [1913 Webster]

Him whom to love is to obey, and keep His great command. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

15. To confine one's self to; not to quit; to remain in; as, to keep one's house, room, bed, etc.; hence, to haunt; to frequent. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

'Tis hallowed ground; Fairies, and fawns, and satyrs do it keep. --J. Fletcher. [1913 Webster]

16. To observe duly, as a festival, etc.; to celebrate; to solemnize; as, to keep a feast. [1913 Webster]

I went with them to the house of God . . . with a multitude that kept holyday. --Ps. xlii. 4. [1913 Webster]

{To keep at arm's length}. See under {Arm}, n.

{To keep back}. (a) To reserve; to withhold. ``I will keep nothing back from you.'' --Jer. xlii. 4. (b) To restrain; to hold back. ``Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins.'' --Ps. xix. 13.

{To keep company with}. (a) To frequent the society of; to associate with; as, let youth keep company with the wise and good. (b) To accompany; to go with; as, to keep company with one on a voyage; also, to pay court to, or accept attentions from, with a view to marriage. [Colloq.]

{To keep counsel}. See under {Counsel}, n.

{To keep down}. (a) To hold in subjection; to restrain; to hinder. (b) (Fine Arts) To subdue in tint or tone, as a portion of a picture, so that the spectator's attention may not be diverted from the more important parts of the work.

{To keep good hours} or {To keep bad hours}, to be customarily early (or late) in returning home or in retiring to rest.

{To keep house}. (a) To occupy a separate house or establishment, as with one's family, as distinguished from {boarding}; to manage domestic affairs. (b) (Eng. Bankrupt Law) To seclude one's self in one's house in order to evade the demands of creditors.

{To keep one's hand in}, to keep in practice.

{To keep open house}, to be hospitable.

{To keep the peace} (Law), to avoid or to prevent a breach of the peace.

{To keep school}, to govern, manage and instruct or teach a school, as a preceptor.

{To keep a stiff upper lip}, to keep up one's courage. [Slang]

{To keep term}. (a) (Eng. Universities) To reside during a term. (b) (Inns of Court) To eat a sufficient number of dinners in hall to make the term count for the purpose of being called to the bar. [Eng.] --Mozley & W.

{To keep touch}. See under {Touch}, n.

{To keep under}, to hold in subjection; hence, to oppress.

{To keep up}. (a) To maintain; to prevent from falling or diminution; as, to keep up the price of goods; to keep up one's credit. (b) To maintain; to continue; to prevent from ceasing. ``In joy, that which keeps up the action is the desire to continue it.'' --Locke.

Syn: To retain; detain; reserve; preserve; hold; restrain; maintain; sustain; support; withhold. -- To {Keep}.

Usage: {Retain}, {Preserve}. Keep is the generic term, and is often used where retain or preserve would too much restrict the meaning; as, to keep silence, etc. Retain denotes that we keep or hold things, as against influences which might deprive us of them, or reasons which might lead us to give them up; as, to retain vivacity in old age; to retain counsel in a lawsuit; to retain one's servant after a reverse of fortune. Preserve denotes that we keep a thing against agencies which might lead to its being destroyed or broken in upon; as, to preserve one's health; to preserve appearances. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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