Keep - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |kiːp|  American pronunciation of the word keep
Brit.  |kiːp|  British pronunciation of the word keep
irregular verb:  p.t. — kept  p.p. — kept


- the financial means whereby one lives (syn: livelihood, living, support, sustenance)
each child was expected to pay for their keep
- the main tower within the walls of a medieval castle or fortress (syn: donjon, dungeon)
- a cell in a jail or prison (syn: hold)


- cause to continue in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., `keep clean' (syn: hold, maintain)
The students keep me on my toes
- continue a certain state, condition, or activity (syn: continue, go along, go on, proceed)
- retain possession of (syn: hold on)
Can I keep my old stuffed animals?
- stop (someone or something) from doing something or being in a certain state (syn: prevent)
- conform one's action or practice to (syn: observe)
keep appointments
she never keeps her promises
- stick to correctly or closely (syn: maintain, observe)
keep count
I cannot keep track of all my employees
- look after; be the keeper of; have charge of
He keeps the shop when I am gone
- maintain by writing regular records (syn: maintain)
keep a diary
keep notes
- supply with room and board
He is keeping three women in the guest cottage
keep boarders
- allow to remain in a place or position or maintain a property or feature (syn: continue, keep on, retain)
The family's fortune waned and they could not keep their household staff
Our grant has run out and we cannot keep you on
- supply with necessities and support (syn: maintain, sustain)
There's little to earn and many to keep
- fail to spoil or rot
These potatoes keep for a long time
- behave as expected during of holidays or rites (syn: celebrate, observe)
- maintain in safety from injury, harm, or danger (syn: preserve)
May God keep you
- raise
She keeps a few chickens in the yard
he keeps bees
- retain rights to (syn: save)
keep my job for me while I give birth
keep my seat, please
keep open the possibility of a merger
- store or keep customarily
Where do you keep your gardening tools?
- 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
- maintain for use and service (syn: maintain)
I keep a car in the countryside
She keeps an apartment in Paris for her shopping trips
- hold and prevent from leaving
- prevent the action or expression of (syn: hold back, keep back, restrain)
keep your cool
- prevent (food) from rotting (syn: preserve)
keep potatoes fresh

Extra examples

She's going to keep the money she found.

I can't decide whether to sell my old car or keep it for another year.

While the company laid off some employees, others had hopes of keeping their jobs.

I asked them to keep quiet.

The program teaches kids how to keep safe near water.

I tried to keep the children quiet during the ceremony.

The local newspaper keeps people informed about what's happening in town.

The article offers tips on how to keep kids safe near water.

The movie will keep you on the edge of your seat.

“The fare is $4.” “Here's $5. Keep the change.”

You may keep the book for a month.

Keep knives away from children.

You are keeping something from me.

Keep me informed.

The weather keeps fine.

Phrasal verbs

keep away  — prevent from coming close
keep back  — secure and keep for possible future use or application
keep down  — place a limit on the number of
keep in  — cause to stay indoors
keep off  — refrain from certain foods or beverages

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Word forms

I/you/we/they: keep
he/she/it: keeps
present participle: keeping
past tense: kept
past participle: kept
singular: keep
plural: keeps
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