1. having the expression of principles, ideas, etc., controlled, dominated, or determined by one whose money provides support: a kept press; a kept writer.

Origin of kept

1670–80 for def 2
Related formsun·kept, adjectivewell-kept, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unkept

Historical Examples of unkept

  • It is an unkept, an unconscious school or gymnasium, and is entirely instinctive.

    Ways of Nature

    John Burroughs

  • Nic was silent, and the horse stumbled through putting a foot into a deep rut of the unkept road.

    First in the Field

    George Manville Fenn

  • The place seemed half deserted, unkept, the walks littered with last year's rotting leaves.

    The Debatable Land

    Arthur Colton

  • Just a small empty house with three unkept little children racing through and around it.

    A Girl Of The Limberlost

    Gene Stratton Porter

  • The Champs Elyses was comparatively deserted; already it had an unkept appearance.

British Dictionary definitions for unkept


  1. the past tense and past participle of keep
  2. kept woman censorious a woman maintained by a man as his mistress
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

Word Origin and History for unkept

mid-14c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of keep (v.).


past tense of keep (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper