Skip to definition.
Get the FREE one-click dictionary software for Windows or the iPhone/iPad and Android apps

Verb: keep (kept)  keep
  1. Retain possession of
    "Can I keep my old stuffed animals?"; "She kept her maiden name after she married";
    - hold on
  2. Cause to continue in a certain state, position, or activity
    "The students keep me on my toes";
    - maintain, hold
  3. Resume or proceed in a certain state, condition, or activity
    "Keep on working!"; "Keep smiling";
    - continue, go on, proceed, go along
  4. Stop (someone or something) from doing something or being in a certain state
    "His snoring kept me from falling asleep"; "Keep the child from eating the marbles";
    - prevent
  5. Conform one's action or practice to
    "she never keeps her promises"; "We kept to the original conditions of the contract"; "keep appointments";
    - observe
  6. Stick to correctly or closely
    "The pianist kept time with the metronome"; "keep count"; "I cannot keep track of all my employees";
    - observe, maintain
  7. Look after; be the keeper of; have charge of
    "He keeps the shop when I am gone"
  8. Maintain by writing regular records
    "keep a diary"; "keep notes";
    - maintain
  9. Supply with room and board
    "He is keeping three women in the guest cottage"; "keep boarders"
  10. Allow to remain in a place or position or maintain a property or feature
    "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"; "She keeps on a lawyer";
    - retain, continue, keep on
  11. Supply with necessities and support
    "There's little to earn and many to keep";
    - sustain, maintain
  12. Fail to spoil or rot
    "These potatoes keep for a long time";
    - stay fresh
  13. Behave as expected during holidays or rites
    "Keep the commandments";
    - observe, celebrate
  14. Maintain in safety from injury, harm, or danger
    "May God keep you";
    - preserve
  15. To rear
    "She keeps a few chickens in the yard"; "he keeps bees"
  16. Retain rights to
    "keep my job for me while I give birth"; "keep open the possibility of a merger";
    - keep open, hold open, save
  17. Normally leave or store
    "Where do you keep your gardening tools?"
  18. 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"
  19. Have and look after for use and service
    "She keeps an apartment in Paris for her shopping trips"; "I keep a car in the countryside";
    - maintain
  20. Hold and prevent from leaving
    "The student was kept after school"
  21. Prevent the action or expression of
    "keep your cool";
    - restrain, keep back, hold back
  22. Prevent (food) from rotting
    "keep potatoes fresh";
    - preserve
Noun: keep  keep
  1. The financial means whereby one lives
    "each child was expected to pay for their keep";
    - support, livelihood, living, bread and butter, sustenance
  2. The main tower within the walls of a medieval castle or fortress
    - donjon, dungeon
  3. A cell in a jail or prison
    - hold

Derived forms: keeps, keeping, kept

See also: delay, hold over, hold up, stop, withstand

Type of: accommodate, act, book, cell, confine, cook, detain, enter, farm, fastness, fix [informal], grow, have, have got, hold, jail cell, keep up, lodge, make, move, peter [Austral, NZ, informal], prepare, prison cell, produce, prolong, protect, put down, raise, ready, record, remain, reserve, resource, rest, stay, store, stronghold, sustain

Antonym: allow, discontinue

Part of: castle

Encyclopedia: Keep, Judith