Definitions for: Keep

[n] a cell in a jail or prison
[n] the main tower within the walls of a medieval castle or fortress
[n] the financial means whereby one lives; "each child was expected to pay for their keep"; "he applied to the state for support"; "he could no longer earn his own livelihood"
[v] prevent from rotting, as of foods; "preserved meats"; "keep potatoes fresh"
[v] observe correctly or closely; "The pianist kept time with the metronome"; "keep count"; "I cannot keep track of all my employees"
[v] maintain by writing regular records; "keep a diary"; "maintain a record"; "keep notes"
[v] supply with necessities and support; "She alone sustained her family"; "The money will sustain our good cause"; "There's little to earn and many to keep"
[v] hold and prevent from leaving; "The student was kept after school"
[v] retain possession of; "Can I keep my old stuffed animals?"; "She kept her maiden name after she married"
[v] look after; be the keeper of; have charge of; "He keeps the shop when I am gone"
[v] maintain for use and service; "I keep a car in the countryside"; "She keeps an apartment in Paris for her shopping trips"
[v] have as a supply; "I always keep batteries in the freezer"; "keep food for a week in the pantry"; "She keeps a sixpack and a week's worth of supplies in the refrigerator"
[v] store or keep customarily; "Where do you keep your gardening tools?"
[v] retain rights to; "keep my job for me while I give birth"; "keep my seat, please"; "keep open the possibility of a merger"
[v] allow to remain in a place or position; "We cannot continue several servants any longer"; "She retains a lawyer"; "The family's fortune waned and they could not keep their household staff"; "Our grant has run out and we cannot keep you on"; "We kept the work going as long as we could"
[v] keep under control; keep in check; "suppress a smile"; "Keep your temper"; "keep your cool"
[v] prevent from doing something or being in a certain state; "We must prevent the cancer from spreading"; "His snoring kept me from falling asleep"; "Keep the child from eating the marbles"
[v] celebrate, as of holidays or rites; "Keep the commandments"; "celebrate Christmas"; "Observe Yom Kippur"
[v] conform one's action or practice to; "keep appointments"; "she never keeps her promises"; "We kept to the original conditions of the contract"
[v] supply with room and board; "He is keeping three women in the guest cottage"; "keep boarders"
[v] raise; "She keeps a few chickens in the yard"; "he keeps bees"
[v] keep in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., "keep clean"; "hold in place"; "She always held herself as a lady"; "The students keep me on my toes"
[v] continue a certain state, condition, or activity; "Keep on working!"; "We continued to work into the night"; "Keep smiling"; "We went on working until well past midnight"
[v] maintain in safety form injury, harm, or danger; "May God keep you"
[v] fail to spoil or rot; "These potatoes keep for a long time"

Webster (1913) Definition: Keep (k[=e]p), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Kept; p. pr. & vb.
n. Keeping.] [OE. k?pen, AS. c?pan to keep, regard, desire,
await, take, betake; cf. AS. copenere lover, OE. copnien to
1. To care; to desire. [Obs.]

I kepe not of armes for to yelp [boast]. --Chaucer.

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.

If we lose the field, We can not keep the town.

That I may know what keeps me here with you.

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

3. To cause to remain in a given situation or condition; to
maintain unchanged; to hold or preserve in any state or

His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal. --Milton.

Keep a stiff rein, and move but gently on.

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.''

4. To have in custody; to have in some place for
preservation; to take charge of.

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

5. To preserve from danger, harm, or loss; to guard.

Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee. --Gen.
xxviii. 15.

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

Great are thy virtues . . . though kept from man.

7. To attend upon; to have the care of; to tend.

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.

In her girlish age, she kept sheep on the moor.

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.

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

Like a pedant that keeps a school. --Shak.

Every one of them kept house by himself. --Hayward.

10. To supply with necessaries of life; to entertain; as, to
keep boarders.

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

I keep but three men and a boy. --Shak.

12. To have habitually in stock for sale.

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.

Both day and night did we keep company. --Shak.

Within this portal as I kept my watch. --Smollett.

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.

I have kept the faith. --2 Tim. iv.

Him whom to love is to obey, and keep His great
command. --Milton.

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.

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

16. To observe duty, as a festival, etc.; to celebrate; to
solemnize; as, to keep a feast.

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

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

To keep good (or 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
(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

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.

2. To last; to endure; to remain unimpaired.

If the malt be not thoroughly dried, the ale it
makes will not keep. --Mortimer.

3. To reside for a time; to lodge; to dwell. [Now disused
except locally or colloquially.]

Knock at his study, where, they say, he keeps.

4. To take care; to be solicitous; to watch. [Obs.]

Keep that the lusts choke not the word of God that
is in us. --Tyndale.

5. To be in session; as, school keeps to-day. [Colloq.]

To keep from, to abstain or refrain from.

To keep in with, to keep on good terms with; as, to keep in
with an opponent.

To keep on, to go forward; to proceed; to continue to

To keep to, to adhere strictly to; not to neglect or
deviate from; as, to keep to old customs; to keep to a
rule; to keep to one's word or promise.

To keep up, to remain unsubdued; also, not to be confined
to one's bed.

Keep, n.
1. The act or office of keeping; custody; guard; care; heed;
charge. --Chaucer.

Pan, thou god of shepherds all, Which of our tender
lambkins takest keep. --Spenser.

2. The state of being kept; hence, the resulting condition;
case; as, to be in good keep.

3. The means or provisions by which one is kept; maintenance;
support; as, the keep of a horse.

Grass equal to the keep of seven cows. --Carlyle.

I performed some services to the college in return
for my keep. --T. Hughes.

4. That which keeps or protects; a stronghold; a fortress; a
castle; specifically, the strongest and securest part of a
castle, often used as a place of residence by the lord of
the castle, especially during a siege; the donjon. See
Illust. of Castle.

The prison strong, Within whose keep the captive
knights were laid. --Dryden.

The lower chambers of those gloomy keeps. --Hallam.

I think . . . the keep, or principal part of a
castle, was so called because the lord and his
domestic circle kept, abode, or lived there. --M. A.

5. That which is kept in charge; a charge. [Obs.]

Often he used of his keep A sacrifice to bring.

6. (Mach.) A cap for retaining anything, as a journal box, in

To take keep, to take care; to heed. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

Synonyms: bread and butter, celebrate, continue, donjon, dungeon, go along, go on, hold, hold, hold back, hold on, keep back, keep going, keep on, livelihood, living, maintain, maintain, maintain, maintain, observe, observe, preserve, proceed, restrain, retain, stay fresh, support, suppress, sustain, sustenance

Antonyms: allow, discontinue, let, lose, permit

See Also: accommodate, act, amenities, arrest, avoid, bear on, blank, bottle up, can, carry, carry on, carry over, castle, cell, check, check, comforts, commemorate, confine, confine, conserve, conserve, conserve, contain, contain, continue, control, conveniences, corn, creature comforts, curb, cure, deduct, defend, defer, dehydrate, delay, deny, desiccate, detain, detain, distance, endure, enter, exclude, exclude, farm, fastness, freeze-dry, go, grow, harbor, harbour, have, have, have got, have got, herd, hinder, hive away, hold, hold, hold, hold back, hold back, hold in, hold out, hold over, hold over, hold up, housekeep, impede, isolate, jail cell, keep, keep apart, keep away, keep back, keep down, keep going, keep in, keep off, keep out, keep out, keep up, keep up, keep up, last, lay in, live, live on, lodge, maintain, maintenance, make good, mark, meal ticket, moderate, mourn, move, number, patronage, pickle, postpone, prepare, preserve, preserve, pressurise, pressurize, prevent, prison cell, produce, prolong, prolong, prorogue, protect, put down, put in, put off, put over, put up, quench, rain out, raise, record, recoup, refrigerate, refuse, remain, remit, reseed, reserve, resist, resource, rest, retain, ride, run on, salt, salt away, sequester, sequestrate, set apart, set back, shelve, shut, shut, shut out, shut out, solemnise, solemnize, stack away, stand firm, stash away, stay, stay off, stop, store, stronghold, subsistence, survive, sustain, sustain, table, tin, turn back, uphold, wash out, withhold, withstand

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