keep
I. verb (kept; keeping) Etymology: Middle English kepen, from Old English cēpan; perhaps akin to Old High German chapfēn to look Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. to take notice of by appropriate conduct ; fulfill: as a. to be faithful to <
keep a promise
>
b. to act fittingly in relation to <
keep the Sabbath
>
c. to conform to in habits or conduct <
keep late hours
>
d. to stay in accord with (a beat) <
keep time
>
2. preserve, maintain: as a. to watch over and defend <
keep us from harm
>
b. (1) to take care of ; tend <
keep a garden
>
(2) support (3) to maintain in a good, fitting, or orderly condition — usually used with up c. to continue to maintain <
keep watch
>
d. (1) to cause to remain in a given place, situation, or condition <
keep him waiting
>
(2) to preserve (food) in an unspoiled condition e. (1) to have or maintain in an established position or relationship <
keep a mistress
>
— often used with on <
kept the cook on
>
(2) to lodge or feed for pay <
keep boarders
>
f. (1) to maintain a record in <
keep a diary
>
(2) to enter in a book <
keep records
>
g. to have customarily in stock for sale 3. a. to restrain from departure or removal ; detain <
keep children after school
>
b. hold back, restrain <
keep them from going
>
<
kept him back with difficulty
>
c. save, reserve <
keep some for later
>
<
kept some out for a friend
>
d. to refrain from revealing <
keep a secret
>
4. a. to retain in one's possession or power <
kept the money we found
>
b. to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing <
kept the news back
>
c. to have in control <
keep your temper
>
5. to confine oneself to <
keep my room
>
6. a. to stay or continue in <
keep the path
>
<
keep your seat
>
b. to stay or remain on or in usually against opposition ; hold <
kept her ground
>
7. conduct, manage <
keep a tearoom
>
intransitive verb 1. chiefly British live, lodge 2. a. to maintain a course, direction, or progress <
keep to the right
>
b. to continue usually without interruption <
keep talking
>
<
keep quiet
>
<
keep on smiling
>
c. to persist in a practice <
kept bothering them
>
<
kept on smoking in spite of warnings
>
3. stay, remain <
keep out of the way
>
<
keep off the grass
>
: as a. to stay even — usually used with up <
keep up with the Joneses
>
b. to remain in good condition <
meat will keep in the freezer
>
c. to remain secret <
the secret would keep
>
d. to call for no immediate action <
the matter will keep until morning
>
4. abstain, refrain <
can't keep from talking
>
5. to be in session <
school will keep through the winter — W. M. Thayer
>
6. of a quarterback to retain possession of a football especially after faking a handoff Synonyms: keep, observe, celebrate, commemorate mean to notice or honor a day, occasion, or deed. keep stresses the idea of not neglecting or violating <
kept the Sabbath by refraining from work
>
. observe suggests marking the occasion by ceremonious performance <
not all holidays are observed nationally
>
. celebrate suggests acknowledging an occasion by festivity <
traditionally celebrates Thanksgiving with a huge dinner
>
. commemorate suggests that an occasion is marked by observances that remind one of the origin and significance of the event <
commemorate Memorial Day with the laying of wreaths
>
. Synonyms: keep, retain, detain, withhold, reserve mean to hold in one's possession or under one's control. keep may suggest a holding securely in one's possession, custody, or control <
keep this while I'm gone
>
. retain implies continued keeping, especially against threatened seizure or forced loss <
managed to retain their dignity even in poverty
>
. detain suggests a delay in letting go <
detained them for questioning
>
. withhold implies restraint in letting go or a refusal to let go <
withheld information from the authorities
>
. reserve suggests a keeping in store for future use <
reserve some of your energy for the last mile
>
. II. noun Date: 1579 1. a. archaic custody, charge b. maintenance 2. one that keeps or protects: as a. fortress, castle; specifically the strongest and securest part of a medieval castle b. one whose job is to keep or tend c. prison, jail 3. the means or provisions by which one is kept <
earned his keep
>
4. keeper 5

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — [kiːp] verb kept PTandPP [kept] 1. [transitive] to store something that will be useful: • The Credit Reference Agency keeps files on individuals debt records. • You should keep a supply of forms. 2 …   Financial and business terms

  • Keep — Keep, v. i. 1. To remain in any position or state; to continue; to abide; to stay; as, to keep at a distance; to keep aloft; to keep near; to keep in the house; to keep before or behind; to keep in favor; to keep out of company, or out reach.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — vb 1 Keep, observe, celebrate, solemnize, commemorate are comparable when they mean to pay proper attention or honor to something prescribed, obligatory, or demanded (as by one s nationality, religion, or rank), but they vary widely in their… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • keep — [kēp] vt. kept, keeping [ME kepen < OE cœpan, to behold, watch out for, lay hold of, akin to MLowG kapen, ON kopa, to stare at < ? IE base * ĝab , to look at or for] 1. to observe or pay regard to; specif., a) to observe with due or… …   English World dictionary

  • keep — ► VERB (past and past part. kept) 1) have or retain possession of. 2) retain or reserve for use in the future. 3) put or store in a regular place. 4) (of a perishable commodity) remain in good condition. 5) continue in a specified condition,… …   English terms dictionary

  • Keep — Keep, n. 1. The act or office of keeping; custody; guard; care; heed; charge. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Pan, thou god of shepherds all, Which of our tender lambkins takest keep. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of being kept; hence, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — keep; green·keep·er; house·keep; house·keep·er; keep·able; keep·er·ing; keep·er·ship; keep·sake; store·keep; keep·er; …   English syllables

  • Keep — 〈f. 20; Seemannsspr.〉 Kerbe, Rille * * * Keep, die; , en [aus dem Niederd. < mniederd. kēp, wohl verw. mit ↑ kappen] (Seemannsspr.): Rille, Kerbe (in einer Boje, einem Block, Mast o. Ä.), die einem darumgelegten Tau Halt gibt. * * * I Keep   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • keep — I (continue) verb be constant, be steadfast, carry forward, carry on, endure, extend, forge ahead, go on, keep going, last, lengthen, live on, maintain, move ahead, never cease, perpetuate, perseverare, persevere, persist, press onward, progress …   Law dictionary

  • keep — The construction keep + object + from + ing verb is idiomatic in current English: • His hands held flat over his ears as if to keep his whole head from flying apart Martin Amis, 1978. The intransitive use of keep + from + ing verb is recorded in… …   Modern English usage

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