Meaning of "keep" in Essential American English Dictionary


verb us /kip/ (past tense and past participle kept)

A2 to have something always, as your own:

You can keep that dress if you like it.
I kept every letter he ever sent to me.
keep something in, on, etc.

A2 to always put something in a particular place:

I keep the keys in the drawer.
keep (someone/something) awake, clean, safe, etc.

A2 to make someone or something stay in a particular state:

This coat should keep you warm.
He keeps his car very clean.
keep doing something

B1 to continue to do something, or to often do something:

I keep telling her not to do it.
He keeps hitting me.

B1 to delay someone or prevent someone from doing something:

He’s very late – what’s keeping him?
I’m so sorry to keep you waiting.
keep a secret

B1 to not tell anyone a secret

to write something down in order to remember it:

Remember to keep a record of how much money you spend.
Keep a list of the missing items.

If food or drink keeps, it stays fresh:

The fish will keep for only two days.

to have and animals:

(Definition of “keep” from the Webster's Essential Mini Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)