keep keep [kiːp] verb kept PTandPP [kept]
1. [transitive] to store something that will be useful:

• The Credit Reference Agency keeps files on individuals' debt records.

• You should keep a supply of forms.

2. keep a record/​log/​account etc to regularly record written information somewhere
keep to something phrasal verb [transitive]
to do what you have promised or agreed to do:

• Members of staff will promote standards of conduct and will try to keep to them.

keep somebody → on phrasal verb [transitive]
to continue to employ someone:

• He was hoping they would keep him on after Christmas.

keep up phrasal verb
1. [transitive] keep something → up to prevent something from falling to a lower level:
keep up with

• The high demand for cereals was responsible for keeping agricultural wages up with prices.

2. [transitive] keep something → up to continue to make payments such as rent etc on time:

• Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage.

3. [intransitive] to achieve the same rate of progress as other people, organizations etc, so that they do not have an advantage over you:

• Some firms have used technical agreements with foreign enterprises to keep up technologically.

keep up with

• We have to move fast to keep up with our competitors.

* * *

keep UK US /kiːp/ verb (kept, kept)
[T] to have or continue to have something, and not lose it or have to give it back to somebody: »

There is going to be a reorganization, but all the staff in the department will keep their jobs.


On arrival, you will be given an information pack, which is yours to keep.


Please keep all invoices relating to the sale.

[T] to have available or for sale: »

We always keep a good supply of the most popular magazines.

[T] to store something in a particular place: »

Where do we keep the items that are not on display?


They kept his details on file for future use.

[I or T] to stay, or make something stay, in a particular place or condition: »

When there's a crisis at work, it's important for managers to keep calm and be supportive.

keep sth moving/working/operating »

You must keep the assembly line moving at a steady rate.


keep sth organized/clean/available


The bank's policy is to keep interest rates low.

[T] (also keep on) to continue to do something, or to do something again and again: »

He kept missing deadlines.

keep (on) doing sth »

We kept on working long after everyone else had gone home.

[T] to own and manage a small store: »

His father kept a candy store in this neighborhood.

[I] if food keeps, it stays fresh and in good condition: »

This variety of apple keeps well.

keep an account/a record/a note — Cf. keep an account/a recorda/ note
keep an appointment — Cf. keep an appointment
keep sth to yourself — Cf. keep sth to yourself
keep sth under control — Cf. keep sth under control

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Keep — (k[=e]p), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Kept} (k[e^]pt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Keeping}.] [OE. k[=e]pen, AS. c[=e]pan to keep, regard, desire, await, take, betake; cf. AS. copenere lover, OE. copnien to desire.] 1. To care; to desire. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Keep — Keep, v. i. 1. To remain in any position or state; to continue; to abide; to stay; as, to keep at a distance; to keep aloft; to keep near; to keep in the house; to keep before or behind; to keep in favor; to keep out of company, or out reach.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — vb 1 Keep, observe, celebrate, solemnize, commemorate are comparable when they mean to pay proper attention or honor to something prescribed, obligatory, or demanded (as by one s nationality, religion, or rank), but they vary widely in their… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • keep — [kēp] vt. kept, keeping [ME kepen < OE cœpan, to behold, watch out for, lay hold of, akin to MLowG kapen, ON kopa, to stare at < ? IE base * ĝab , to look at or for] 1. to observe or pay regard to; specif., a) to observe with due or… …   English World dictionary

  • keep — ► VERB (past and past part. kept) 1) have or retain possession of. 2) retain or reserve for use in the future. 3) put or store in a regular place. 4) (of a perishable commodity) remain in good condition. 5) continue in a specified condition,… …   English terms dictionary

  • Keep — Keep, n. 1. The act or office of keeping; custody; guard; care; heed; charge. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Pan, thou god of shepherds all, Which of our tender lambkins takest keep. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of being kept; hence, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — keep; green·keep·er; house·keep; house·keep·er; keep·able; keep·er·ing; keep·er·ship; keep·sake; store·keep; keep·er; …   English syllables

  • Keep — 〈f. 20; Seemannsspr.〉 Kerbe, Rille * * * Keep, die; , en [aus dem Niederd. < mniederd. kēp, wohl verw. mit ↑ kappen] (Seemannsspr.): Rille, Kerbe (in einer Boje, einem Block, Mast o. Ä.), die einem darumgelegten Tau Halt gibt. * * * I Keep   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • keep — I (continue) verb be constant, be steadfast, carry forward, carry on, endure, extend, forge ahead, go on, keep going, last, lengthen, live on, maintain, move ahead, never cease, perpetuate, perseverare, persevere, persist, press onward, progress …   Law dictionary

  • keep — The construction keep + object + from + ing verb is idiomatic in current English: • His hands held flat over his ears as if to keep his whole head from flying apart Martin Amis, 1978. The intransitive use of keep + from + ing verb is recorded in… …   Modern English usage

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