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Meaning of "keep" in Essential American English Dictionary

keep

verb   /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: Our neighbors keep chickens.
(Definition of keep from the Websters Essential Mini Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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