verb (used with object), kept, keeping.
to hold or retain in one’s possession; hold as one’s own:
If you like it, keep it. Keep the change.
to hold or have the use of for a period of time:
You can keep it for the summer.
to hold in a given place; store:
You can keep your things in here.
to maintain (some action), especially in accordance with specific requirements, a promise, etc.:
to keep watch; to keep step.
to cause to continue in a given position, state, course, or action:
to keep a light burning; to keep a child happy.
to maintain in condition or order, as by care and labor:
He keeps his car in good condition.
to maintain in usable or edible condition; preserve:
If you want to keep meat for a long time, freeze it.
to hold in custody or under guard, as a prisoner:
They kept him in jail.
to cause to stay in a particular place; prevent or restrain from departure:
The work kept her at the office.
to have regularly in stock and for sale:
to keep a large supply of machine parts.
to maintain in one’s service or for one’s use or enjoyment:
to keep a car and chauffeur.
to associate with:
She keeps bad company.
to have the care, charge, or custody of:
She keeps my dog when I travel.
to refrain from disclosing; withhold from the knowledge of others:
to keep a secret.
to withhold from use; reserve; save:
I’ll keep this toy until you learn to behave. Keep the good wine for company.
to hold back or restrain:
They kept the child from talking. Nothing can keep him from doing it.
to maintain control of; regulate:
to keep the peace; to keep your temper.
to maintain by writing:
to keep a diary.
to record (business transactions, daily occurrences, etc.) regularly:
to keep records; to keep a list of visitors.
to observe; pay obedient regard to (a law, rule, promise, etc.).
to conform to; follow; fulfill:
to keep one’s word.
to observe (a season, festival, etc.) with formalities or rites:
to keep Christmas.
to maintain or carry on, as an establishment, business, etc.; manage.
to guard; protect:
He kept her from harm.
to maintain or support:
It costs more each year to keep a house.
to support or contribute to the support of in return for sexual or other favors.
to take care of; tend:
to keep a vegetable garden.
to raise (livestock):
These farmers keep goats and cattle.
to remain in (a place, spot, etc.):
Please keep your seats.
to maintain one’s position in or on:
He kept the job.
to continue to follow (a path, track, course, etc.).
to maintain in active existence, as an assembly, court, or fair.
verb (used without object), kept, keeping.
to continue in an action, course, position, state, etc.:
to keep in sight; to keep going.
to remain, or continue to be, as specified:
to keep cool.
to remain or stay in a particular place:
to keep indoors.
to continue unimpaired or without spoiling:
The food will keep on ice.
to admit of being reserved for a future occasion:
I have more to tell you, but it will keep.
to keep oneself or itself as specified (followed by away, back, off, out, etc.):
Keep off the grass.
to restrain oneself; refrain (usually followed by from):
Try to keep from smiling.
board and lodging; subsistence; support:
to work for one’s keep.
the innermost and strongest structure or central tower of a medieval castle.
keeps, (used with a singular verb) a game of marbles in which the players keep the marbles they have won.
keep at, to persist in; be steadfast:
You’ll never master your French unless you keep at it.
keep in with, to stay in someone’s favor; be on good terms with:
They are social climbers who make certain to keep in with all the right people.
keep on, to continue; persist:
If you keep on singing they’ll ask you to leave.
for keeps, Informal.
keep books, to maintain financial records.
keep tab / tabs on. 1 (def 14).
keep time. (def 50).
keep to oneself,
keep track of. (def 38).
verb keeps, keeping, kept (kɛpt)
(transitive) to have or retain possession of
(transitive) to have temporary possession or charge of: keep my watch for me during the game
(transitive) to store in a customary place: I keep my books in the desk
to remain or cause to remain in a specified state or condition: keep the dog quiet, keep ready
to continue or cause to continue: keep the beat, keep in step
(transitive) to have or take charge or care of: keep the shop for me till I return
(transitive) to look after or maintain for use, pleasure, etc: to keep chickens, keep two cars
(transitive) to provide for the upkeep or livelihood of
(transitive) to support financially, esp in return for sexual favours: he keeps a mistress in the country
to confine or detain or be confined or detained
to withhold or reserve or admit of withholding or reserving: your news will keep till later
(transitive) to refrain from divulging or violating: to keep a secret, keep one’s word
to preserve or admit of preservation
(transitive) sometimes foll by up. to observe with due rites or ceremonies: to keep Christmas
(transitive) to maintain by writing regular records in: to keep a diary
when intr, foll by in, on, to, etc. to stay in, on, or at (a place or position): please keep your seats, keep to the path
(transitive) to associate with (esp in the phrase keep bad company)
(transitive) to maintain in existence: to keep court in the palace
(transitive) (mainly Brit) to have habitually in stock: this shop keeps all kinds of wool
how are you keeping?, how are you?
(informal) keep tabs on, to keep a watchful eye on
keep track of, See track (sense 15)
keep time, See time (sense 42)
keep wicket, to play as wicketkeeper in the game of cricket
(informal) you can keep it, I have no interest in what you are offering
living or support: he must work for his keep
(archaic) charge or care
Also called dungeon, donjon. the main tower within the walls of a medieval castle or fortress
late Old English cepan “to seize, hold,” also “to observe,” from Proto-Germanic *kopijanan, but with no certain connection to other languages. It possibly is related to Old English capian “to look,” from Proto-Germanic *kap- (cepan was used c.1000 to render Latin observare), which would make the basic sense “to keep an eye on.”
The word prob. belongs primarily to the vulgar and non-literary stratum of the language; but it comes up suddenly into literary use c.1000, and that in many senses, indicating considerable previous development. [OED]
Sense of “preserve, maintain” is from mid-14c. Meaning “to maintain in proper order” is from 1550s; meaning “financially support and privately control” (usually in reference to mistresses) is from 1540s. Related: Kept; keeping.
mid-13c., “care or heed in watching,” from keep (v.). Meaning “innermost stronghold of a tower” is from 1580s, perhaps a translation of Italian tenazza, with a notion of “that which keeps” (someone or something); the sense of “food required to keep a person or animal” is attested from 1801. For keeps “completely, for good” is American English colloquial, from 1861.
for keeps, play for keeps
[keep-seyk] /ˈkipˌseɪk/ noun 1. anything kept, or given to be kept, as a token of friendship or affection; remembrance. /ˈkiːpˌseɪk/ noun 1. a gift that evokes memories of a person or event with which it is associated n. 1790, from keep (v.) + sake; on model of namesake; thus an object kept for the sake […]
- Keep someone
verb phrase To support and maintain someone for sexual purposes: She has ”an old man” who ”keeps” her/ Maybe some day some guy’ll even keep me (1560+)
- Keep several balls in the air
verb phrase To be involved on multiple jobs, projects, etc [1980s+; fr the image of a juggler]