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English definition of “keep”


verb uk   /kiːp/ (kept, kept) us  

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).
See also
[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 know keep 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

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 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.

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.

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   /kiːp/ us  


[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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