Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To retain possession of.
  • intransitive verb To have as a supply.
  • intransitive verb To provide (a family, for example) with maintenance and support.
  • intransitive verb To support (a mistress or lover) financially.
  • intransitive verb To put customarily; store.
  • intransitive verb To supply with room and board for a charge.
  • intransitive verb To raise.
  • intransitive verb To maintain for use or service.
  • intransitive verb To manage, tend, or have charge of.
  • intransitive verb To preserve (food).
  • intransitive verb To cause to continue in a state, condition, or course of action.
  • intransitive verb To maintain records in.
  • intransitive verb To enter (data) in a book.
  • intransitive verb To detain.
  • intransitive verb To restrain.
  • intransitive verb To prevent or deter.
  • intransitive verb To refrain from divulging.
  • intransitive verb To save; reserve.
  • intransitive verb To adhere or conform to; follow.
  • intransitive verb To be faithful to; fulfill.
  • intransitive verb To celebrate; observe.
  • intransitive verb To remain in a state or condition; stay.
  • intransitive verb To continue to do.
  • intransitive verb To remain fresh or unspoiled.
  • intransitive verb To restrain oneself; hold oneself back.
  • noun Care; charge.
  • noun The means by which one is supported.
  • noun The stronghold of a castle.
  • noun A jail.
  • idiom (for keeps) For an indefinitely long period.
  • idiom (for keeps) Seriously and permanently.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English kepen, from Old English cēpan, to observe, seize.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English kepen ("to keep, guard, look after, watch"), from Old English cēpan ("to seize, hold, observe"), from Proto-Germanic *kōpijanan (compare West Frisian kypje ‘to look’), variant of *kapōnan (compare Old English capian ‘to look’, Dutch kapen ‘to seize, snatch’, German kapfen ‘to gape’, Danish kope ("to gawk, stare")), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵab-, *ǵāb- (“to look after”) (compare Lithuanian žẽbti ‘to eat reluctantly’, Russian забота (zabota) ‘care, worry’).

Examples

  • In case of falling into the water, the chief thing to do is to try to keep calm and to _keep your hands below your chin_.

    A Handbook of Health

  • He returns in haalf an hour with everything I need, and brings back this book which I keep, -- remember, gentlemen, which I _keep_, -- a mark of confidence which in this degen'rate age is refreshin '.

    Colonel Carter of Cartersville

  • If we are to _be_ in Christ when we are in Ephesus, we need to keep ourselves separate and faithful, and to _keep ourselves_ in

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John

  • Once, when I was very weak with sea-sickness and wanted to keep down a dinner which I had just eaten, they insisted upon it, that, if I would only put into my mouth a piece of fat pork, and _keep it there_, my dinner would stay in its place.

    Cast Away in the Cold An Old Man's Story of a Young Man's Adventures, as Related by Captain John Hardy, Mariner

  • Berwickshire every hind was allowed to keep a few hens; and some of them actually removed for the sake of the _hen's keep_.

    The Proverbs of Scotland

  • III. i.7 (62,9) [I do lose a thing, That none but fools would keep] [W: would reck] The meaning seems plainly this, that _none but fools would_ wish _to keep life_; or, _none but fools would keep_ it, if choice were allowed.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • As far as I am concerned, like the Bonds, keep making the Bourne films and we’ll judge the quality, even a bad one will be better than most of the trash released nowadays..please make more..keep them coming!

    Next BOURNE movie in South America? | Obsessed With Film

  • Very emphatical, f Gum (minx aifto&a, kttpt With aU keeping, q.d. keep, keep* fit dottbfc guilds, yout* fceam wtll be gone elfe; And this vehemency of eifcfeffi* on, with * hictf the duty is urged, plainty implied ho*r difflciUf it is to keep our hearts, and how dangerous to let them go. v

    The Whole Works of the Reverend Mr. John Flavel ...

  • The comments on MSNBC about Mr. Romney seemed to have been plucked straight from the Web site AMERICAblog, which noted on Tuesday that in the 1920s, K.K.K. literature employed the phrase "keep America American."

    NYT > Home Page

  • Give your video a title keep it short and include the celebrity's name

    Boston.com Top Stories

Comments

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  • peek in reverse

    December 27, 2006

  • like Robert Frost

    January 1, 2007

  • "The main citadel of a castle. A great tower. A fortified tower containing living quarters. A self-sufficient tower."

    August 25, 2008

  • keep in Czech : udržet

    "I'm trying to udržet my inclination to dick around with the translation feature and waste lots of time."

    May 26, 2011