keep definition, meaning - what is keep in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “keep”

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verb uk   us   /kiːp/ (kept, kept)

keep verb (CONTINUE TO HAVE)

A2 [T] to have or continue to have in your possession: Do you want this photograph back or can I keep it? Keep medicines in a locked cupboard (= store them there).
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[T] to own and manage a small shop: My uncle kept a little tobacconist's in Gloucester.B2 [T] If you keep animals, you own and take care of them, but not in your home as pets: to keep pigs/goats/chickens [T] US to watch and care for someone's children while their parents are away: Jody will keep the children while I shop.keep your promise/word B2 to do what you have told someone that you would do: I made a promise to you and I intend to keep it.keep an appointment to go to a meeting or event that has been arranged: She phoned to say she couldn't keep her appointment.keep a diary, an account, a record, etc. B2 to make a regular record of events or other information so that you can refer to it later: I've kept a diary for twelve years now. Keep an account of how much you're spending.keep a secret B1 to not tell anyone a secret that you knowkeep time (of a watch or clock) to show the correct time: Does your watch keep good time?keep goal to be the player who defends your team's goal by trying to prevent players from the other team scoring goals
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keep verb (STAY)

A2 [L only + adj, T] to (cause to) stay in a particular place or condition: I wish you'd keep quiet. I like to keep busy. Keep left (= stay on the road to the left) at the traffic lights. Can you keep the dog outside, please? [+ obj + adj ] Close the door to keep the room warm. The noise from their party kept me awake half the night.keep sth quiet to not tell people about something: They managed to keep the school's problems quiet for a while. You're a qualified skiing instructor? You kept that quiet!
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keep verb (CONTINUE DOING)

B1 [I + -ing verb] (also keep on) to continue doing something without stopping, or to do it repeatedly: He keeps trying to distract me. I keep on thinking I've seen her before somewhere. I kept hoping that he'd phone me.keep going to continue in the same way as before: If things keep going like this, we'll have to close the business. to continue to do something or to live normally in a difficult situation: Sometimes it was hard to keep going, but we did it for the children's sake.keep sb going to help someone to continue doing something or living normally, especially in a difficult situation: It was my friends that kept me going through all this. informal to prevent someone from getting too hungry when they have to wait to eat a meal: Have a piece of fruit to keep you going.
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keep verb (DELAY)

B1 [T] to delay someone or prevent them from doing something: He's very late - what's keeping him? [+ -ing verb] I'm so sorry to keep you waiting. She kept me talking on the phone for half an hour. I hope I'm not keeping you up (= preventing you from going to bed). [I] If you say that news or information for someone can keep, you mean that you can tell it to them later: "I must tell you something." "Can't it keep? I'm in a hurry!" Whatever your news is, it will keep.
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keep verb (STAY FRESH)

B2 [I] (of food) to stay fresh and in good condition: Milk keeps much longer in a fridge.

keep verb (PROVIDE)

C1 [T] to provide yourself or another person with food, clothing, a home, and other things necessary for basic living: He wanted a job that would allow him to keep his family in comfort.


noun uk   us   /kiːp/


[U] the cost of providing food, heating, and other necessary things for someone: He's old enough now to earn his keep and stop living off his parents.

keep noun (TOWER)

[C] specialized architecture the strong main tower of a castle
(Definition of keep from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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