English dictionary

Info: This web site is based on WordNet 3.0 from Princeton University.

English noun: keep

1. keep (possession) the financial means whereby one lives

SamplesEach child was expected to pay for their keep.
He applied to the state for support.
He could no longer earn his own livelihood.

Synonymsbread and butter, livelihood, living, support, sustenance

Broader (hypernym)resource

Narrower (hyponym)amenities, comforts, conveniences, creature comforts, maintenance, meal ticket, subsistence

2. keep (artifact) the main tower within the walls of a medieval castle or fortress

Synonymsdonjon, dungeon

Broader (hypernym)fastness, stronghold

Instance hyponymBlack Hole of Calcutta

Part meronymcastle

3. keep (artifact) a cell in a jail or prison


Broader (hypernym)cell, jail cell, prison cell

English verb: keep

1. keep (stative) keep in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g.,

SamplesKeep clean.
Hold in place.
She always held herself as a lady.
The students keep me on my toes.

Synonymshold, maintain

Pattern of useSomething ----s something Adjective/Noun.
Somebody ----s somebody PP.
Somebody ----s something PP

Narrower (hyponym)bear on, carry on, conserve, continue, distance, hold over, housekeep, preserve, preserve, pressurise, pressurize, uphold

2. keep (stative) continue a certain state, condition, or activity

SamplesKeep on working!.
We continued to work into the night.
Keep smiling.
We went on working until well past midnight.

ExamplesThey keep moving

Synonymscontinue, go along, go on, proceed

Pattern of useSomebody ----s VERB-ing

Broader (hypernym)act, move

Narrower (hyponym)hold, keep going, ride, run on

Verb groupbear on, carry on, continue, continue, preserve, uphold


3. keep (possession) retain possession of

SamplesCan I keep my old stuffed animals?.
She kept her maiden name after she married.

ExamplesThey keep the money

Synonymshold on

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)have, have got, hold

Narrower (hyponym)carry over, deduct, deny, harbor, harbour, hive away, hold, hold back, hold over, keep back, lay in, preserve, put in, recoup, refuse, retain, salt away, save, stack away, stash away, store, store, withhold

Verb grouphold open, keep, keep open, save


4. keep (social) stop (someone or something) from doing something or being in a certain state

SamplesWe must prevent the cancer from spreading.
His snoring kept me from falling asleep.
Keep the child from eating the marbles.

ExamplesThey keep him from writing the letter


Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody PP.
Somebody ----s something PP

Narrower (hyponym)blank, defend, exclude, hinder, hold, impede, keep away, keep out, rain out, shut, shut out, wash out

Verb groupkeep

Antonymsallow, let, permit

5. keep (social) conform one's action or practice to

SamplesKeep appointments.
She never keeps her promises.
We kept to the original conditions of the contract.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Narrower (hyponym)make good

Antonymsbreach, infract, transgress, go against, offend, violate, break

6. keep (cognition) stick to correctly or closely

SamplesThe pianist kept time with the metronome.
Keep count.
I cannot keep track of all my employees.

Synonymsmaintain, observe

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

7. keep (possession) look after; be the keeper of; have charge of

SamplesHe keeps the shop when I am gone.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)have, have got, hold

Narrower (hyponym)conserve, keep up, maintain, preserve

Verb groupkeep, preserve

8. keep (communication) maintain by writing regular records

SamplesKeep a diary.
Maintain a record.
Keep notes.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)enter, put down, record

9. keep (stative) supply with room and board

SamplesHe is keeping three women in the guest cottage.
Keep boarders.

ExamplesSam cannot keep Sue

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)accommodate, lodge

10. keep (social) allow to remain in a place or position or maintain a property or feature

SamplesWe cannot continue several servants any longer.
She retains a lawyer.
The family's fortune waned and they could not keep their household staff.
Our grant has run out and we cannot keep you on.
We kept the work going as long as we could.
She retained her composure.
This garment retains its shape even after many washings.

Synonymscontinue, keep on, retain

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)keep up, prolong, sustain

Verb groupcontinue, persist in

11. keep (consumption) supply with necessities and support

SamplesShe alone sustained her family.
The money will sustain our good cause.
There's little to earn and many to keep.

Synonymsmaintain, sustain

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)have, have got, hold

Narrower (hyponym)carry, patronage, reseed

12. keep (stative) fail to spoil or rot

SamplesThese potatoes keep for a long time.

ExamplesThis food does keep well

Synonymsstay fresh

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)remain, rest, stay

Verb groupkeep, preserve

13. keep (social) behave as expected during of holidays or rites

SamplesKeep the commandments.
Celebrate Christmas.
Observe Yom Kippur.

Synonymscelebrate, observe

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Narrower (hyponym)commemorate, mark, mourn, solemnise, solemnize

14. keep (social) keep under control; keep in check

SamplesSuppress a smile.
Keep your temper.
Keep your cool.

Synonymshold back, keep back, restrain

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Somebody ----s somebody PP

Broader (hypernym)bottle up, inhibit, suppress

Narrower (hyponym)bottle up, check, confine, contain, control, curb, hold, hold, hold in, inhibit, moderate, suppress

15. keep (stative) maintain in safety from injury, harm, or danger

SamplesMay God keep you.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)protect

Verb groupkeep

16. keep (stative) raise

SamplesShe keeps a few chickens in the yard.
He keeps bees.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)farm, grow, produce, raise

Narrower (hyponym)herd

17. keep (possession) retain rights to

SamplesKeep my job for me while I give birth.
Keep my seat, please.
Keep open the possibility of a merger.

Synonymshold open, keep open, save

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)book, hold, reserve

Verb grouphold on, keep

18. keep (possession) store or keep customarily

SamplesWhere do you keep your gardening tools?.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)store

Verb groupkeep

19. keep (possession) have as a supply

SamplesI always keep batteries in the freezer.
Keep food for a week in the pantry.
She keeps a sixpack and a week's worth of supplies in the refrigerator.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)have, have got, hold

Verb groupkeep

20. keep (possession) maintain for use and service

SamplesI keep a car in the countryside.
She keeps an apartment in Paris for her shopping trips.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)have, have got, hold

21. keep (contact) hold and prevent from leaving

SamplesThe student was kept after school.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)confine, detain

Verb groupkeep, prevent

22. keep (change) prevent (food) from rotting

SamplesPreserved meats.
Keep potatoes fresh.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)cook, fix, make, prepare, ready

Narrower (hyponym)can, conserve, corn, cure, dehydrate, desiccate, freeze-dry, pickle, put up, refrigerate, salt, tin

Verb groupkeep, stay fresh

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
Web design: Orcapia v/Per Bang. English edition: .
2020 onlineordbog.dk