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for keeps

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1

For the winner to retain, as in You can't take the marbles back; we were playing for keeps. [Mid-1800s]

2

For an indefinitely long time, forever, as in She is leaving town for keeps.

3

In earnest, seriously, as in We're separating for keeps. [Late 1800s]

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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