Idioms for keep

Origin of keep

before 1000; Middle English kepen, Old English cēpan to observe, heed, watch, await, take; perhaps akin to Old English gecōp proper, fitting, capian to look, Old Norse kōpa to stare

SYNONYMS FOR keep

1 Keep, reserve, retain, withhold refer to having and holding in possession. Keep (a common word) and retain (a more formal one) agree in meaning to continue to have or hold, as opposed to losing, parting with, or giving up: to keep a book for a week. To reserve is to keep for some future use, occasion, or recipient, or to hold back for a time: to reserve judgment. To withhold is generally to hold back altogether: to withhold help.
6 preserve.
8 detain, confine.
41 donjon, dungeon, stronghold.

OTHER WORDS FROM keep

keep·a·ble, adjectivekeep·a·bil·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for keep at (1 of 2)

keep at

verb (preposition)

(intr) to persevere with or persist in
(tr) to constrain (a person) to continue doing (a task)

British Dictionary definitions for keep at (2 of 2)

keep
/ (kiːp) /

verb keeps, keeping or kept (kɛpt)

noun

Word Origin for keep

Old English cēpan to observe; compare Old Saxon kapōn to look, Old Norse kōpa to stare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with keep at (1 of 2)

keep at

1

Persevere or persist at doing something. For example, If you keep at your math, you'll soon master it. It is also put as keep at it, as in He kept at it all day and finally finished the report. [Early 1800s]

2

keep at someone. Nag, harass, or annoy someone, as in You have to keep at Carl if you want him to do the work, or He keeps at Millie all the time. Also see keep after.

Idioms and Phrases with keep at (2 of 2)

keep

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.