Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “keep”

See all translations

keep

verb
 
 
/kiːp/ ( past tense and past participle kept)
HAVE [T] A2 to have something permanently or for the whole of a period of time: You can keep that dress if you like it. He borrowed my bike and kept it all week. I kept my last car for two years.Keeping and storing things
keep sth in/on, etc A2 to regularly store something in a particular place: I think he keeps his keys in the desk drawer. We'll keep your application on file.Keeping and storing things
keep doing sth B1 to continue to do something, or to do something repeatedly: My diets never work, but I keep trying. I keep telling her not to leave her clothes on the floor. He keeps hitting me.Repeating an actionContinue and last
keep (sb/sth) awake/clean/safe, etc A2 to remain in a particular state or make someone or something remain in a particular state: Thick socks help me keep warm. He goes jogging twice a week to keep fit. He keeps his car spotlessly clean.Keeping and staying the sameNot able to be changedNot able to be changedKeeping and staying the same
keep sb/sth in/inside, etc to make someone or something stay in the same place: They will keep her at home for a few more days.Preventing and impedingLimiting and restricting
MAKE DO STH [T] B1 to make someone do something that stops them doing something else: [+ doing sth] She kept me talking for ages. Sorry to keep you waiting. Don't let me keep you from your work.Preventing and impedingLimiting and restricting
keep a secret B1 to not tell anyone a secretSecrecy and privacy
keep a promise/your word, etc B2 to do what you have promised to doMaking and breaking promises and commitments
keep an appointment to meet someone when you have arranged to meet themMeeting peopleOfficial meetings
MAKE LATE [T] to make someone arrive later than they planned: I was expecting you at six - what kept you?Delaying and wasting timePreventing and impedingLimiting and restricting
WRITE [T] B2 to write down something in order to remember it: to keep records/notesWriting and typing
FOOD [I] B2 If food or drink keeps, it remains fresh.Decaying and staying freshPreserving and storing food
PROVIDE MONEY [T] to provide enough money for someone to live: I can't keep a family on that salary.Giving, providing and supplying
ANIMALS [T] B2 to have and look after animals: Our neighbours keep pigs.Having and owning - general words
keep sb going to provide what someone needs for a short period of time: Dinner is at eight, but I had an apple to keep me going. →  See also keep your cool , keep a straight face , keep your fingers crossed , put/keep sb in the picture , keep a low profile , keep a tight rein on sb/sth , keep tabs on sb/sth , keep sb on their toes Giving, providing and supplying
(Definition of keep verb from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “keep” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

be in/out of luck

to be able/unable to have or do what you want

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More