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Forms: Pa. tense and pple. kept. Forms: inf.OE (ME) cépan, ME kepan, ME -en, (ME -in, ME -yn... (Show More)
Etymology: Late Old English cépan ... (Show More)
I. Early senses (with gen. in Old English, afterwards with simple obj.).
1. To seize, lay hold of; to snatch, take. Obs.
c1000 Ælfric Homilies II. 246 Swa hwilcne swa ic cysse, cepað his sona.
a1175 Cott. Hom. 243 Gif hi us ofercumeð ne cepeð hi of hus gold ne selfer bute ure bane.
1297 R. Gloucester's Chron. (Rolls) 2950 Eldol, erl of gloucestre‥Barnde & kepte her & þer, & slou aboute wyde.
c1330 R. Mannyng Chron. (1810) 166 Fulle broþely & brim he kept vp a trencheour.
†2. To try to catch or get; to seek after. Obs.
c1000 Ælfric Homilies II. 522 Se ðe oðerne lufað‥nele he him hearmes cepan.
c1000 St. Basil's Admon. v. (1849) 46 Ne kep ðu‥ðinum nextan facnes.
c1175 Lamb. Hom. 107 Þet weo on gode weorcas godes luue kepan, and naut idel~ȝelp.
?c1200 Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 1277 Fra þatt hire make iss dæd Ne kepeþþ ȝho nan oþerr.
†3. To take in, receive, contain, hold. Obs.
c1020 Rule St. Benet (Logeman) xxxvi. 67 Ah þa sylfan untruman‥geþyldelice sind to cepanne [L. patienter portandi sunt].
a1225 Leg. Kath. 399 Tu schalt‥to curt cumen seoðen, & kinemede ikepen.
c1325 Body & Soul in Map's Poems (Camden) 344/1 Ȝit schalt thou come‥to court, and ich the with, For to kepen ure rihte pay.
1340 R. Rolle Pricke of Conscience 5408 Helle bynethen þat es wyde and depe, Sal þan be open þam to kepe.
1340 R. Rolle Pricke of Conscience 7371 Helle yhit es swa depe, And swa wyde and large‥that it moght kepe Alle the creatures‥Of alle the world.
a. To take in with the eyes, ears, or mind; to take note of, mark, behold, observe. Obs.
c1000 Ælfric Homilies I. 580 Zacheus‥cepte þæs Hælendes fær, and wolde geseon hwilc he wære.
c1000 Sax. Leechd. III. 268 Menn magon‥cepan be his bleo‥hwylc weder toweard byð.
c1127 Anglo-Saxon Chron. anno 1127, Soðfeste men heom kepten on nihtes.
a1325 Prose Psalter cxxix. [cxxx.] 3 Lord, ȝif þou hast kept [Vulg. si observaveris] wickednes, Lord, who shal holde hem vp?
c1400 Prymer (1895) 53 Lord! if þou kepist wickidnessis, lord! who schal susteyne?
†b. To watch. Obs.
c1000 Lambeth Psalter lv. 7 [lvi. 6] Hig minne ho oððe hohfot cepaþ oððe begemaþ.
1697 Dryden tr. Virgil Æneis vi, in tr. Virgil Wks. 376 While the Stars, and course of Heav'n I keep, My weary'd Eyes were seiz'd with fatal sleep.
†5. To watch for, wait for, await (a coming event or person). Obs.
c1000 Ælfric Homilies II. 172 Ða munecas‥georne ðæs andagan cepton.
a1225 Leg. Kath. 2457 Þe wununge of euch wunne kepeð and copneð þi cume.
c1290 Magdalena 595 in Horstm. Altengl. Leg. (1878) 161 Seiȝe heom þat huy kepen me aftur þe midniȝhte, For þare ich hopie for to beo.
1470–85 Malory Morte d'Arthur viii. x, Syre Trystram rode pryuely vnto the posterne where kepte hym la beale Isoud.
a. To lie in wait for, watch for stealthily with hostile purpose; to intercept on the way. Obs.
c1000 Ælfric Homilies II. 506 Þa ferde Martinus, and þæt folc his cepte, and hine gelæhton.
a1100 Anglo-Saxon Chron. (MS. D.) anno 1052, Þa sceoldon cepan Godwines eorles ðe on Brycge wæs.
c1275 (1200) Laȝamon Brut (Calig.) (1978) l. 13420 Whar me heom kepen [c1300 Otho kepe] mihte in ane slade deopen.
1297 R. Gloucester's Chron. (Rolls) 1964 A gret erl him kepte þer in a wod bi syde.
c1330 R. Mannyng Chron. (1810) 10 Kebriht he kept at Humber, & on him he ran.
†b. intr. or absol. To lie in ambush. Obs. rare.
c1275 (1200) Laȝamon Brut (Calig.) (1978) l. 13445 Heo comen in ænne wude‥sweoren heom bitwænen þat þer heo wolden kepen [c1300 Otho akepe].
†c. trans. To intercept (a missile); to ward off (a stroke). See kep v. Obs.
c1175 Lamb. Hom. 153 Þe duntes boð uuel to kepen, þet mon nat nefre on hwilche halue ho wilen falle.
c1450 Merlin 223 Frelent raised the axe‥And he kepte the stroke upon his shelde.
†7. To meet in resistance or opposition; to encounter. Obs.
c1275 (1200) Laȝamon Brut (Calig.) (1978) l. 11946 Frolle‥igræp his spere longe. and kept [c1300 Otho kepte] Arður anan alse he aneoust com.
c1400 (1390) Sir Gawain & Green Knight (1940) l. 307 When non wolde kepe hym with carp he coȝed ful hyȝe.
1487 (1380) J. Barbour Bruce (St. John's Cambr.) xiv. 197 Soyn with thair fayis assemblit thai, That kepit thame richt hardely.
c1540 Destr. Troy 8332 The knight hym kept, caupit with hym so, That bothe the hathell and his horse hurlit to ground.
†8. To intercept or meet in a friendly way; to greet, welcome. Obs.
1340 R. Rolle Pricke of Conscience 5028 Againe þe comyng of Ihesu Criste, To kepe him when he doun sal come [cf. 5051 to mete Criste].
c1400 Ywaine & Gaw. 1387 Thai‥dight tham in thair best aray, To kepe the King that ilk day.
?c1450 Life St. Cuthbert (1891) l. 2004 Þe woman rase‥And come Cuthbert for to kepe.
a1500 (1460) Towneley Plays (1994) I. xxxi. 426 There mon ye kepe hym at his come.
II. Transitive uses (in early use also intr.).
* To have regard, pay attention to, observe.
†9. To have regard, to care, to reck; in Middle English only with negative: To care nothing, to ‘reck nought’.
a. Const. with gen., or of. Obs.
a1050 Anglo-Saxon Chron. anno 1013 (MSS. C, E.) , Hi nanre brycge ne cepton.
?c1200 Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 4408 Ȝiff þatt tu nohht ne kepesst her. Noff crist. noff cristess moderr.
c1290 Beket 998 Go hunnes, of þe ne kepe y noȝt.
1297 R. Gloucester's Chron. (Rolls) 11359 He ne kepte noþing of hor seruise.
a1375 William of Palerne (1867) l. 4738, I kepe nouȝt of þi kingdom‥ne of þi loueli lemman.
†b. With inf. or obj. clause. To care. Obs.
c1175 Lamb. Hom. 55 Bute we bileuen ure ufele iwune, Ne kepeð he noht þet we beon sune.
?c1200 Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 7191 Ȝiff þatt teȝȝ‥griþþ. Ne kepenn nohht to follȝhenn.
a1250 Owl & Nightingale 154 Ne kepe ich noht þat þu me clawe.
c1386 Chaucer Can. Yeom. Prol. & T. 815, I kepe han [v.rr. to han, haue, to haue, for haue, for to haue] no loos Of my craft.
c1405 (1385) Chaucer Knight's Tale (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 2096 Ne how the grekys pleye The wake pleyes ne kepe I noght to seye.
1477 J. Paston in Paston Lett. & Papers (2004) I. 503 To any suche bargayne I kepe neuer to be condescentyng.
c1530 Hickscorner in W. C. Hazlitt Dodsley's Sel. Coll. Old Eng. Plays (1874) I. 192 Yet I keepe nat to climbe so hye.
1589 G. Puttenham Arte Eng. Poesie i. viii. 15, I kept not to sit sleeping‥till a Queene came.
†c. With simple obj. To care for, to reck of; to regard, desire. Obs.
1297 R. Gloucester's Chron. (Rolls) 746 He ansuerede‥þat he ne kepte bote hire [Cordelia] one wiþ oute alle oþer þinge.
1362 Langland Piers Plowman A. iv. 156 So þat Concience beo vr counseiler, kepe I no betere.
c1420 Pallad. on Husb. xii. 270 But as of grauel lond no thing they kepe.
1470–85 Malory Morte d'Arthur vi. xv, I had kepte no more ioye in this world but to haue thy body dede.
c1500 (1437) Kingis Quair (1939) cxli, More Ioy in erth kepe I noght bot ȝour grace.
†10. intr. To have care, take care; to give heed, attend, look to. Obs.
a1300 Cursor M. 26170 (Cott.) , Es na herd set for to kepe Wit right bot til his aun scepe.
c1340 Cursor M. (Trin.) 20099, I shal biteche þe a fere Þat trewely shal kepe [Gött. take kepe] to þe.
1382 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) Zech. xi. 11 The pore of the floc that kepen to me, knewen thus, for it is the word of the Lord.
a1400–50 Alexander 821 Comand kenely hys knyghtez to kepe to hys blonkez.
11. trans. To pay attention or regard to; to observe, stand to, or dutifully abide by (an ordinance, law, custom, practice, covenant, promise, faith, a thing prescribed or fixed, as a treaty, truce, peace, a set time or day; see further under the ns.).In some of these the sense appears to blend with that of ‘maintain, preserve intact’. In this sense it is usually the opposite of disregard, violate, break.
c1000 Ælfric Homilies II. 324 Swa swa ða clænan nytenu cepað heora timan.
c1000 Ælfric Homilies I. 102 Nu ge cepað dagas and monðas mid ydelum wiglungum [cf. 1382 Wyclif Gal. iv. 10 Ȝe kepen [MS. Q gloss or weyten] dayes [Vulg. dies observatis] and monethis, and tymes].
a1380 St. Ambrose 1119 in Horstm. Altengl. Leg. (1878) 25 Whon I come at Rome I kepe þe maner of þat fay‥To what churche so euer þou cum Þer of kep þou þe custum.
1387 J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Rolls) VIII. 19 He bitook his breþeren þre poyntes to kepe, and seide þat he hadde kepte hem‥al his lyf tyme.
1485 Caxton tr. Charles the Grete (1881) 195 Obeye and kepe hys comandementes.
a1533 Ld. Berners tr. Bk. Duke Huon of Burdeux (1882–7) xlv. 151, I know you wyll kepe couenaunt with me in that ye haue promysyd me.
1549 H. Latimer 2nd Serm. before Kynges Maiestie 3rd Serm. sig. Giiiiv, Thy Iudges are vnfaythfull, they kepe no touche‥they wyl pretende thys & that, but they kepe no promise.
1563 N. Winȝet Certain Tractates (1888) I. 115 St. Paull commandit‥his traditionis to be keipit.
1668 R. Steele Husbandmans Calling (1672) x. 273 As breaking rules turn'd the first husbandman out of Paradise, so keeping rules will bring you into Paradise again.
1711 R. Steele Spectator No. 41. ⁋7 It is certain no Faith ought to be kept with Cheats.
1867 Trollope Last Chron. Barset II. lxxx. 346 A gentleman should always keep his word to a lady.
1869 E. A. Freeman Hist. Norman Conquest III. xii. 246 Such an oath was one which he certainly had no thought of keeping.
1891 G. Meredith One of our Conquerors III. xii. 252 He rose; he had to keep an appointment.
12. To observe with due formality and in the prescribed manner (any religious rite, ceremony, service, feast, fast, or other occasion); to celebrate, solemnize.
1463 in S. Tymms Wills & Inventories Bury St. Edmunds (1850) 17 The wiche messe of our lady I wille the Seynt Marie preest kepe in a whith vestement.
?a1475 (1425) tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Harl.) (1876) VI. 53 Ordeynenge þe faste of Lente to be kepede in his realme.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) 1 Sam. xxx. 16 They were scatred vpon all ye grounde, eatinge and drynkynge, and kepynge holy daye.
1548 Hall's Vnion: Henry VI f. clxvijv, Sent to the toure of London, where he without great solempnitie, kept a dolefull Christmas.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. ccxxiiij, But what tyme the maryage was in maner appointed to be kept, he died.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. ccccljv, Kyng Ferdinando kept her funerall at Auspurge.
1687 W. Sherwin in Magd. Coll. (O.H.S.) 216 They‥keep disputations and other exercises.
1774 J. Hawley in J. Adams' Wks. (1854) IX. 344 He keeps Sabbath at Boston.
1801 J. Strutt Glig-gamena Angel-ðeod iii. i. 133 To keep the justs in a place appointed.
1867 C. M. Yonge Cameos lxxxvi, in Monthly Packet Dec. 534 The King was keeping the feast of Easter.
1887 C. Bowen tr. Virgil Eclogues iii. 76 To-day my birthday is kept.
13. To observe by attendance, presence, residence, performance of duty, or in some prescribed or regular way.Formerly in to keep church , to keep evensong , to keep market , etc.; now chiefly in to keep chapels , to keep halls , to keep roll-call (at college or school), to keep (prescribed) terms, residence , etc. Also, in weakened sense, to keep regular or proper (and so irregular, late, early) hours . See the ns.
1450–1530 Myrr. our Ladye 29 They that kepe the Chyrch ar parteners of theyr mynistracion.
1479 in T. Smith & L. T. Smith Eng. Gilds (1870) 426 The Maire & Shiref shall‥kepe theire Aduent sermondes.
15.. in Pref. to Ld. Berners' Froiss. (1812) 13 The King hymselfe‥kepte euensong of saynt george in his robe of the garters.
1608 Bp. J. Hall Characters Vertues & Vices ii. 83 Hee‥asks what fare is vsuall at home, what houres are kept.
a1653 H. Binning Serm. (1845) 607 They know not how to be saved, unless their prayers do it, or their keeping the kirk.
a1713 T. Ellwood Hist. Life (1714) 81 A Dyer of Oxford, who constantly kept Thame Market.
1738 Swift Compl. Coll. Genteel Conversat. 125 What! you keep Court-Hours I see.
1746 J. Wesley Wks. (1872) XII. 76, I keep my church as well as any man.
1821 Shelley Ginevra 102 And left her at her own request to keep An hour of quiet and rest.
1824 Scott Redgauntlet II. x. 223, I keep the kirk, and I abhor Popery—I have stood up for the House of Hanover.
1852 Thackeray Henry Esmond I. x. 229 So long as he kept his chapels, and did the college exercises required of him.
1894 Ld. Wolseley Life Marlborough I. 229 Early hours were generally kept.
** To guard (from external violence or injury), to preserve, maintain.
14. To guard, defend, protect, preserve, save. (Const. from, †of.)
a. a person.
c1175 Lamb. Hom. 71 Þu‥kep us from his waning, Þat laþe gast, þet laþe þing.
c1330 Spec. Gy Warw. 48 To kepen his soule from þe qued.
1377 Langland Piers Plowman B. Prol. 125 Crist kepe þe, sire kyng.
a1400 (1325) Cursor Mundi (Vesp.) l. 14075, I sal þe kepe forth fra þis dai.
c1440 Promp. Parv. 272/2 Kepyn, custodio, servo, conservo.
1490 Caxton's Blanchardyn & Eglantine (1962) xiv. 48 His goode shelde kept hym.
1593 T. Watson Tears of Fancie xxii, in Poems (Arb.) 189 My Mistres slept: And with a garland‥Her daintie forehead from the sunne ykept.
a1616 Shakespeare Henry V (1623) v. i. 63 God bu'y you, and keepe you, and heale your pate.
1669 J. Bunyan Holy Citie 18 It is called a City‥to shew us how strong and securely it will keep its Inhabitants at that day.
1697 T. Ken Evening Hymn i, Keep me, O keep me, King of kings, Beneath Thine own Almightly wings.
1719 W. Hamilton Epist. to Ramsay iii. xiii, May thou‥Be keeped frae the wirricow, After thou's dead.
1887 A. C. Swinburne Locrine iv. i. 234 God keep my lord!
b. a thing.
a1325 (1250) Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 3378 He let bi-aften de more del To kepen here ðing al wel.
c1330 R. Mannyng Chron. (1810) 161 Bernard of Bayoun, þat was kepand þe se.
c1380 Antecrist in Todd Three Treat. Wyclif (1851) 129 To kepe þe chaumbur and halle of noyse and dyn.
a1400 (1325) Cursor Mundi (Gött.) l. 10035 Þer standis thre baylis widvte, þat wele kepis þat castel, For [Trin. Cambr. from] arw, schott and quarel.
1508 Golagrus & Gawain 44 The yettis war clenely kepit with ane castell.
a1533 Ld. Berners tr. Bk. Duke Huon of Burdeux (1882–7) lii. 177 It were better for the to‥helpe to kepe a towne or a castell.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. ccccv, The horsemen were left‥to defende and kepe the passage.
1672 R. Montagu in Buccleuch MSS (Hist. MSS Comm.) (1899) I. 519 To help in keeping my corner against your enemies and mine.
1683 Plymouth Col. Rec. (1856) VI. 114 Keeping the dores and not opening them to the said John Irish when hee come.
1842 Macaulay Horatius xxix, Now who will stand on either hand, And keep the bridge with me?
1892 St. Nicholas Mag. XIV. 541/2 They're not keeping our goal as they ought to.
c. from some injurious operation or accident.
1398 J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomew de Glanville De Proprietatibus Rerum (Bodl.) xvi. xciv. lf. 183/2 Salte‥kepeþ and saueþ dede bodies fro rotinge.
1487 (1380) J. Barbour Bruce (St. John's Cambr.) xvii. 177 Thai kepit [1489 Adv. kepyt] that fra distroying.
1579 S. Gosson To Gentlewomen in Schoole of Abuse f. 44, Keepe your sweete faces from scorching.
a1616 Shakespeare Taming of Shrew (1623) iii. ii. 57 To keepe him from stumbling.
1631 W. Gouge Gods Three Arrowes iii. §65. 304 They were wont‥to annoint their rolles‥with a liquour‥which kept them from rotting.
†d. refl. To defend oneself; to be on one's guard. Obs.
c1175 Lamb. Hom. 59 To blecen‥his nome and kepen us from hearm and scome.
c1460 (1325) Cursor Mundi (Laud) l. 10071 Was no man‥Might kepe hym from that fend felle.
1470–85 Malory Morte d'Arthur ix. xvii, Sir Tristram drewe oute his swerd, and said, sire Kehydius, kepe the.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) Jer. ix. 4 One must kepe him~self from another.
c1540 Destr. Troy 7860 We are folke full fele‥Assemblit in this Cite oure seluyn to kepe.
1634 W. Tirwhyt tr. J. L. G. de Balzac Lett. 15, I keepe my selfe as carefully as though I were composed of christall.
†15. To be on one's guard against some action or occurrence; to take care, beware (that…).
a. refl. Obs.
a1400 (1325) Cursor Mundi (Trin. Cambr.) l. 8389, I haue me kept þat neuer oþer wiþ me siþen slept.
c1400 (1390) Sir Gawain & Green Knight (1940) l. 372 ‘Kepe þe, cosyn,’ quoþ þe kyng, ‘þat þou on kyrf sette’.
1483 Caxton tr. J. de Voragine Golden Legende 179/1 Kepe ye wel that thou telle thys vysyon to no man.
†b. intr. or with obj. clause. Obs.
c1400 Mandeville's Trav. (Roxb.) xxiii. 108 Before þe dure standez certayne lordes‥for to kepe þat nane entre in at þe dure.
c1405 (1387–95) Chaucer Canterbury Tales Prol. (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 130 Wel koude she carye a morsel and wel keepe That no drope fille vp on hir brist.
c1480 (1400) St. Andrew 216 in W. M. Metcalfe Legends Saints Sc. Dial. (1896) I. 69 Þe Iuge‥dange hym in a dongeone depe þat he na schapit, bad to kepe [= bade to take care that he escaped not].
c1500 Melusine (1895) 112 Kepe wel ye borow nothing but that ye may yeld it ayen.
1526 Tyndale Pathway Holy Script. in Wks. (Parker Soc.) I. 23 We tame the flesh therewith‥and keep that the lusts choke not the word of God.
16. To take care of, look to the well-being of; to look after, watch over, tend, have charge of.
a. a person.
a1300 Cursor Mundi 16761 Als for his moder Iohn hir keped, And in his ward hir toke.
a1325 (1250) Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 2625 Ghe kepte it wel in fostre wune, Ghe knew it for hire owen sune.
a1375 William of Palerne (1867) l. 66 Wiȝtliche wiþ þe child he went to his house, and bi-tok it to his wif tiȝtly to kepe.
1420 in F. J. Furnivall Fifty Earliest Eng. Wills (1882) 54, I will þat þe Nonne þat kepid me in my seknes haue ij nobles.
a1535 T. More Hist. Richard III in Wks. (1557) 50/2 Mans law serueth ye gardain to kepe the infant. The law of nature wyll the mother kepe her childe.
1600 Shakespeare Henry V ii. i. 30 Callest thou me hoste‥I sweare, I scorne the title, Nor shall my Nell keepe [1623 Keep] lodging.
b. cattle or the like.
a1325 (1250) Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 2772 Moyses was numen‥For te loken hirdnesse fare; Riche men ðo kepten swilc ware.
a1375 William of Palerne (1867) l. 8 Þis cowherd comes‥to kepen is bestes Fast by-side þe borwȝ.
c1400 Three Kings Cologne 29 Þe schepherdes of þat contrey‥be wonte to kepe her flok of schepe in þe nyȝt.
1526 Bible (Tyndale) Luke xv. 15 A citesyn‥sent hym to the felde to kepe [1611 feed] his swyne.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) 1 Sam. xvi. 11 There is yet one‥and beholde, he kepeth [so 1611 and R.V.] the shepe.
a1616 Shakespeare As you like It (1623) i. i. 35 Shall I keepe your hogs, and eat huskes with them?
1632 W. Lithgow Totall Disc. Trav. iii. 93 Flockes of them feeding in the fields, and usually kept by children.
1697 Dryden tr. Virgil Georgics iv, in tr. Virgil Wks. 139 This Neptune gave him, when he gave to keep His scaly Flocks.
1801 J. Strutt Glig-gamena Angel-ðeod ii. ii. 65 David, who kept his father's sheep.
c. a thing.
a1325 Maudelein 1 in Horstm. Altengl. Leg. (1878) 163 Martha keped swiþe wel Hir londes.
1377 Langland Piers Plowman B. xii. 115 Archa dei in þe olde lawe leuites it kepten.
c1386 Chaucer Doctor's Tale 85 A theef of venysoun, that hath forlaft‥his olde craft, Kan kepe a fforest best of any man.
a1400 (1325) Cursor Mundi (Trin. Cambr.) l. 5292 Þe lordshipe of al þis lond To reule & kepe is in myn hond.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) Exod. xxii. 7 Yf a man delyuer his neghboure money or vessels to kepe, and it be stollen from him out of his house [etc.].
1585 T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie i. xi. 13 b, The Caddy, which keepeth the town upon tribute under the king of Alger.
a1586 (1513) W. Dunbar Poems (1998) 237 Ȝour hienes can nocht gett an meter To keip ȝour wardrope.
1712 Pope Rape of Lock ii, in Misc. Poems 374 Their Heroe's Wits are kept in pondrous Vases.
1850 Tennyson In Memoriam xxiii. 39 The Shadow cloak'd from head to foot Who keeps the keys of all the creeds.
d. to keep wicket: see wicket n. 3a. Also absol., to act as wicket-keeper.
1862 Baily's Monthly Mag. Aug. 85 The Surrey people‥selecting‥a John Walker to keep.
1920 P. F. Warner Cricket Reminisc. 161 Lockyer ‘kept’ for the Players on and off between 1854 and 1866.
1931 N. & Q. 14 Feb. 121/2 Alfred [Lyttelton], of course, ‘kept’ for England.
1959 Times 29 June 11/4 One of Somerset's clerical wearers of the gloves‥who, after ‘keeping’ to W. G.‥recorded that not a single ball had passed the bat.
17. To maintain or preserve in proper order.
a1382 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(1)) (1850) Ecclus. xliii. 4 Kepende the furneys in the werkis of brennyng.
c1386 Chaucer Merchant's Tale 138 Wel may the sike man biwaille and wepe Ther as ther nys no wyf the hous to kepe.
1463 in S. Tymms Wills & Inventories Bury St. Edmunds (1850) 28 Yeerly to the Sexteyn‥viijs. to kepe the clokke.
1667 Milton Paradise Lost viii. 320 This Paradise I give thee, count it thine To Till and keep.
1699 M. Lister Journey to Paris (new ed.) 188 This is the only House in Paris I saw kept‥with the most exact cleanliness and neatness, Gardens and all.
1827 H. Steuart Planter's Guide (1828) 352 This space is kept with the scythe.
1862 Temple Bar 4 259 His rooms were as neatly kept as those of a woman.
18. To maintain continuously in proper form and order (a record, diary, journal, accounts of money received and paid, etc.). to keep books , to make the requisite entries in a merchant's books so that these shall always represent the state of his commercial relations: see book-keeping n.
1552 Ordre Hosp. St. Barthol. B v b (Treasurer) Ye shal also kepe one seueral accompte betweene the Renter & you.
1552 Ordre Hosp. St. Barthol. C j (Almoner) Keping one entier and perfecte Inuentarie‥in a boke.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. clxxv, Notaryes and scribes‥whyche shoulde penne, and kepe althynges diligentelye.
1604 E. Grimeston tr. J. de Acosta Nat. & Morall Hist. Indies iv. vii. 226 The first Registers of Entries are not so exactly kept as at this day.
a1640 P. Massinger Guardian i. i. 36 in 3 New Playes (1655) , A hopeful youth, to keep A Merchants book.
1751 C. Labelye Descr. Westm. Bridge 66 The keeping proper Accounts of these was‥allotted to Richard Graham.
1803 Pic Nic No. 14. 6 He had kept a journal of all his transactions.
1869 W. Longman Hist. Edward III I. xiv. 262 No record was kept of the losses of the English.
1891 Speaker 2 May 531/1 The useful habit of keeping commonplace books.
a. To provide for the sustenance of; to provide with food and clothing and other requisites of life; to maintain, support. Also refl.
1377 Langland Piers Plowman B. Prol. 76 Thus þey geuen here golde glotones to kepe [A. Prol. 73 Glotonye to helpen].
1568 in J. Small Poems W. Dunbar (1893) II. 306 Spend pairt of the gude thow wan, And keip the ay with honestie.
1572 Taill of Rauf Coilȝear (1882) 963 Than Schir Rauf gat rewaird to keip his Knichtheid.
1616 F. Beaumont & J. Fletcher Scornful Ladie iii. sig. F3, What shall become of my poore familie? They‥must keep themselues.
1668 R. Steele Husbandmans Calling ii. (1672) 16 A husbandman is a man‥that makes the ground that bred him keep him.
1858 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 19 i. 207 The land would barely keep the cows.
1889 E. Lynn Linton Thro' Long Night I. i. viii. 131 Should he ever be able to keep a wife?
1901 N.E.D. at Keep, Mod. He cannot keep himself yet, but is dependent on his parents.
b. Const. in (the particular item provided).
1888 ‘S. Tytler’ Blackhall Ghosts II. xix. 117 Jem has to keep us in everything, in clothes as well as the rest.
1890 Mrs. H. Wood House of Halliwell I. xii. 323 He kept the younger ladies in gloves.
a. To maintain, employ, entertain in one's service, or for one's use or enjoyment: in reference to animals or things, there is a mingling of the sense of possession.
1548 Hall's Vnion: Edward IV f. cxxxiiiv, The Frenche kyng..caused.iij.C.men of armes to be kept secretly in their capitaynes houses.
a1616 Shakespeare Timon of Athens (1623) iv. iii. 201 Because thou dost not keepe a dogge.
a1616 Shakespeare Merry Wives of Windsor (1623) i. i. 255, I keepe but three Men, and a Boy yet, till my Mother be dead.
1637 Decree Starre-Chamber conc. Printing §28 sig. Hv, No Master-Founder‥shall keepe aboue two Apprentices.
1789 J. Brand Hist. & Antiq. Newcastle II. 237 November 24th 1697, there is an order of this society forbidding the apprentices‥to keep horses, dogs for hunting, or fighting cocks.
1833 H. Martineau Briery Creek iii. 63 This morning, you thought of no such thing as keeping pigs.
1853 T. T. Lynch Lect. Self Improvem. v. 104 A man‥who ‘keeps a gig’, but cannot ‘afford to keep a conscience’.
1860 Temple Bar I. 42 Rich men kept a newsmonger, as they kept a valet.
1893 National Observer 6 May 619/2 He need not himself keep chickens.
b. to keep a woman as mistress: to keep a newspaper as a hired organ: cf. kept adj. 1.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. xlix, Others kept harlots, & lyued dishonestly.
1609 Shakespeare Troilus & Cressida v. i. 93 They say hee keepes a Troyan drab.
1660 F. Brooke tr. V. Le Blanc World Surveyed 36 Giving a box on the ear to a Lord that kept her for a time.
1712 R. Steele Spectator No. 276. ⁋3, I am kept by an old Batchelor.
1728 E. Young Love of Fame iii. 196 Philander‥In secret loves his wife, but keeps her maid.
1895 M. M. Dowie Gallia 114 It was habitual for women to disapprove of a man who kept a mistress.
21. To have habitually in stock or on sale.
1706 Wooden World Diss. (1708) 57 The worser Liquor he keeps, the more he brews his own Profit.
1851 N. Hawthorne House of Seven Gables iii. 61 [She] gave her hot customer to understand that she did not keep the article.
†22. refl. To conduct or comport oneself, behave. Obs.
1362 Langland Piers Plowman A. i. 92 Kynges and knihtes scholde kepen hem bi Reson.
c1386 Chaucer Doctor's Tale 106 This mayde‥So kept hir self, hir neded no maistresse.
c1400 Lanfranc's Cirurg. 272, I tauȝte him how he schulde kepe him-silf, and how he schulde diete him-silf.
23. To preserve in being or operation; to maintain, retain, or continue to hold (a quality, state, or condition) or to practise or exercise (a habit or action). Cf. to keep up at Phrasal verbs 1 in to keep up 4 at Phrasal verbs 1, 29eHence in many phrases, as to keep silence; to keep affinity, companionship n., to keep company, consort, converse, correspondence n.; to keep even compass, measure n., to keep pace, to keep step, to keep time, tune n., wing n. (with); to keep guard, to keep a look-out, to keep sentinel, to hold, keep ward, to keep watch : for which when the sense is specialized, see the ns.
c1315 Shoreham 11 The prestes so thries duppeth‥gode ȝeme kepeth The ned.
c1380 Wyclif Wks. (1880) 21 So þat þei kepen pacience and charite.
c1475 (1400) Apol. Lollard Doctr. (1842) 42 Crist kepid ai þat state.
c1475 Lytylle Childrenes Lytil Bk. (Egerton 1995) in Babees Bk. (2002) i. 20 Honowre and curtesy loke þou kepe.
c1480 (1400) St. Machor 343 in W. M. Metcalfe Legends Saints Sc. Dial. (1896) II. 10 He kepyt ay his innocens.
1488 (1478) Hary Actis & Deidis Schir William Wallace (Adv.) xii. l. 316 That king till him kepit kyndnes and luff.
1530 J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 596/2, I kepe abstynence, I forbeare meate and drinke.
1548 Hall's Vnion: Henry VIII f. cclxjv, Charitie is not kept emongest you.
1552 R. Huloet Abcedarium Anglico Latinum, To kepe bawdrye or whoredome.
1568 (1513) W. Dunbar Poems (1998) 194 Than mon I keip ane grauetie.
1569 R. Grafton Chron. II. 32 Now almost no countrie kepeth either weight or measure one with the other to the great hurt of the Realme.
1598 Shakespeare Henry IV, Pt. 1 v. iv. 64 Two stars keepe not their motion in one sphere.
a1616 Shakespeare Measure for Measure (1623) ii. i. 3 Let it keepe one shape.
a1637 B. Jonson Magnetick Lady ii. vi. 143 in Wks. (1640) III, You: that will keepe consort with such Fidlers.
1651 R. Wittie tr. J. Primrose Pop. Errors iii. ii. 138 The Ancients‥did keep a fequent use of baths and frictions.
1698 J. Fryer New Acct. E.-India & Persia 331 To make them [Lamb-skins] keep their Curl.
a1715 Bp. G. Burnet Hist. Own Time (1724) I. 372 To keep no farther correspondence with Duke Hamilton.
1751 T. Gray Elegy xix. 9 Along the cool sequester'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
1818 Shelley Revolt of Islam ii. xviii, Did Laon and his friend‥a lofty converse keep.
1822 Shelley Hellas 4 Who now keep That calm sleep.
1890 F. M. Crawford Cigarette-maker's Rom. I. iii. 99 The Count himself kept his composure admirably.
a. With complement: To preserve, maintain, retain, or cause to continue, in some specified condition, state, place, position, action, or course.The complement may be an adj., n., pple., adv., or prep. phr., e.g. to keep alive, clean, close, dark, dry, fast, holy, open, secret, still, sweet, warm; to keep a prisoner, a secret; to keep going, shut; to keep at arm's length, at bay, at it, at work, in countenance, in readiness, in repair, in suspense, in touch, out of mischief, to time, etc. For these in specialized senses, and for phrases, such as to keep the ball rolling, the pot boiling, one's hair on, one's eye upon, one's eyes about one, one's head above water, etc., see the adjs. or ns.
c1340 R. Rolle Prose Treat. 8 Scho [the bee] kepes clene and bryghte hire winges.
1377 Langland Piers Plowman B. v. 623 Þe dore closed Kayed and cliketted to kepe þe with-outen.
1414 T. Brampton Paraphr. Seven Penit. Psalms (1842) xix. 8 My synne[s], that I in schryfte schulde schewe, I kepe hem clos for schame or fere.
a1500 in Babees Bk. 21/66 Hande, fote, & fynger kepe þou styll.
c1500 Young Children's Bk. (Ashm. 61) in Babees Bk. (2002) i. 19 Yt kepys hym out offe synne & blame.
1568 (1513) W. Dunbar Poems (1998) 165 Scho bad eik Iuno‥That scho the hevin suld keip amene and dry.
1585 T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie iii. xxii. 112 To keepe the Arabians‥in greater sobriety.
1585 T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie iv. xv. 130 They‥kept the portes and passages so shutte, that they kept away the corne.
1597 Shakespeare Richard II iii. ii. 28 That power that made you king, Hath power to keepe you king.
1607 E. Topsell Hist. Fovre-footed Beastes 151 It is necessary that their kennell be kept sweete and dry.
1657 R. Ligon True Hist. Barbados 102 To keep it continually in the shade.
1698 J. Fryer New Acct. E.-India & Persia 125, I kept the Coolies to their Watch.
1712 R. Steele Spectator No. 263. ⁋4 It is [thus]‥that Hatreds are kept alive.
1712 R. Steele Spectator No. 264. ⁋2 While he could keep his Poverty a Secret.
1774 O. Goldsmith Hist. Earth V. 126 He is‥still kept fast by a string.
1840 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 1 iii. 225 The ploughmen could scarcely keep their ploughs in the ground.
1845 R. Ford Hand-bk. Travellers in Spain I. i. 66 Keep the door shut, and the devil passes by.
1854 Dickens Hard Times i. xiv. 110 In the daytime old Bounderby has been keeping me at it rather.
1883 G. M. Fenn Middy & Ensign xxxi, I'll keep him to his promise.
1890 T. F. Tout Hist. Eng. from 1689 1689. 48 He kept the merchants and tradesmen Whigs by his sound commercial‥measures.
1891 Temple Bar Feb. 281 There was the steam-kettle to keep on the boil.
1892 National Observer 17 Dec. 100/1 It promises help‥to keep him in funds when he is out on strike.
b. refl. To preserve or maintain oneself, or continue, in such condition, etc. (Hence the intrans. use in 39.)
1362 Langland Piers Plowman A. i. 169 Curatours þat schulden kepe hem clene of heore bodies.
a1380 Virg. Antioch 137 in Horstm. Altengl. Leg. (1878) 27, I may me kepe chast eueridel.
c1430 Syr Gener. (Roxb.) 2835 This traitour kept him close that night.
1490 Caxton tr. Foure Sonnes of Aymon (1885) xxiv. 512 Baron, kepe you by reynawde.
a1533 Ld. Berners tr. Bk. Duke Huon of Burdeux (1882–7) xxi. 64 Yf ye can kepe your selfe without spekynge to hym, ye maye than well skape.
c1540 Destr. Troy 10513 Kepis you in couer, cleane out of sight!
1549 Bk. Common Prayer Matrimony, Wilt thou‥forsaking all other kepe thee only to her, so long as you both shall liue?
1585 T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie i. iv. 3 b, Theyr watches keepe themselves in an ambush neare unto a wood.
1788 W. Blane Acct. Hunting Excurs. 15 The Prince, by laying hold of the Howdah, kept himself in his seat.
1879 R. Browning Martin Relph 32 The many and loyal should keep themselves unmixed with the few perverse.
*** To detain or hold in custody, restraint, concealment, etc.; to prevent from escaping or being taken from one.
25. To hold as a captive or prisoner; to hold in custody or in restraint of personal liberty; to prevent from escaping.
c1330 R. Mannyng Chron. (1810) 219 Þat kept him in prisoun, Edward did him calle.
1382 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) Acts xvi. 23 Thei senten hem into prisoun, commaundinge to the kepere that he diligentli schulde kepe hem.
1487 (1380) J. Barbour Bruce (St. John's Cambr.) xviii. 512 He‥bad haf him avay in hy, And luk he kepit [1489 Adv. kepyt] war stratly.
1526 Bible (Tyndale) Acts xxviii. 16 Paul was suffered to dwell alone with wone soudier that kept hym.
c1540 Destr. Troy 12084 Þat commly be keppet, ne in cloese haldyn.
1585 T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie i. vii. 6 They kept me as prisoner.
1892 Law Times 93 414/2 He did not think that the defendant ought to be kept in prison any longer.
26. To retain in a place or position by moral constraint; to restrain from going away; to cause or induce to remain; to detain. Also fig.
a1627 T. Middleton & W. Rowley Changeling (1653) v. sig. I2v, Keep life in him for further tortures.
1782 W. Cowper Progress of Error in Poems 416 A dunce that has been kept at home.
1801 Pitt in G. Rose Diaries (1860) I. 291, I have been kept till this instant.
1873 C. M. Yonge Cameos cxiv, in Monthly Packet Mar. 232 Colet would fain have kept Erasmus to lecture at Oxford.
1885 E. F. Byrrne Entangled II. xviii. 29 Don't let me keep you.
1890 W. C. Russell Ocean Trag. I. ii. 31 There was nothing to keep me in England.
a. To hold back, prevent, withhold; to restrain, control. Const. from (off, out of).
c1340 Cursor M. (Fairf.) 2893 Ihesu criste ȝou kepe fra syn.
c1460 Urbanitas 74 in Babees Bk. 15 In chambur among ladyes bryȝth Kepe thy tonge and spende thy syȝth.
1539 Bible (Great) Psalms xxxiv. 13 Kepe thy tonge from euell.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. ccclv, Yea they‥haue not kept their handes also from yonge babes & children.
a1616 Shakespeare Henry VI, Pt. 1 (1623) i. i. 160 The Earle of Salisbury‥hardly keepes his men from mutinie.
1642 Milton Apol. Smectymnuus viii, How hard is it when a man meets with a Foole to keepe his tongue from folly!
1650 A. Weldon Court & Char. King James 139 The Bishops might have done better to have kept their voyces.
1726 Bp. J. Butler 15 Serm. vii. 131 Those partial Regards to his Duty‥might keep him from perfect Despair.
1858 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 19 i. 184 A cold, dry spring may keep the seed from germinating.
b. refl. To restrain oneself, refrain, hold back; to abstain. (Hence intr., sense to keep from —— at Phrasal verbs 2.)
1340 R. Rolle Pricke of Conscience 954 Gude it es þat a man him kepe Fra worldisshe luf and vany worshepe.
c1460 in Babees Bk. 13/19 Fro spettyng & snetyng kepe þe also.
1484 Caxton tr. G. de la Tour-Landry Bk. Knight of Tower (1971) xlii. 65 This is a good Ensample to a warraunt and kepe hym self of fals beholdynge.
c1500 Melusine (1895) xxxvi. 295 Hys brother coude not kepe hym, but he asked after Melusyne.
a1533 Ld. Berners tr. Bk. Duke Huon of Burdeux (1882–7) lix. 205 He‥coude not a kept hym selfe fro lawghynge.
a1616 Shakespeare Two Gentlemen of Verona (1623) iv. iv. 10 'Tis a foule thing, when a cur cannot keepe himselfe in all companies.
1892 Black & White 26 Nov. 610/1, I shall not be able to keep myself from strangling her.
28. To withold from present use, to reserve; to lay up, store up. refl. To reserve oneself.
c1340 Cursor M. (Fairf.) 970 Of alkyn frute þat ys þine Kepe me þe teynde for þat ys myne.
c1400 Mandeville's Trav. (1839) v. 52 The Gerneres‥to kepe the greynes for the perile of the dere ȝeres.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) 2 Esdras ix. 21, I‥haue kepte me a wynebery of the grapes.
1579 S. Gosson Schoole of Abuse Ep. Ded. sig. ☞5v, Philip‥exhorted his friends to keepe their stomackes for the seconde course.
1632 W. Lithgow Totall Disc. Trav. vi. 258 The water of Jordan‥the longer it is kept, it is the more fresher.
1822 Shelley Hellas 43 The Anarchs‥keep A throne for thee.
1868 E. A. Freeman Hist. Norman Conquest II. x. 428 The‥Chronicler‥seems rather to keep himself for great occasions.
1875 E. A. Freeman Hist. Norman Conquest (ed. 2) III. xii. 77, I have purposely kept that question for this stage of my history.
a. Actively to hold in possession; to retain in one's power or control; to continue to have, hold, or possess. Also absol. (The opposite of to lose: now a leading sense.)
c1400 Mandeville Voiage & Travaile (1839) xxiii. 252 Thei con wel wynnen lond of Straungeres, but thei con not kepen it.
c1460 J. Fortescue Governance of Eng. (1885) vi. 121 It is power to mowe haue and kepe to hym self.
1488 (1478) Hary Actis & Deidis Schir William Wallace (Adv.) x. l. 1241 Off Ryches he kepyt no propyr thing, Gaiff as he wan.
1559 W. Baldwin et al. Myrroure for Magistrates Suffolk viii, To get and kepe not is but losse of payne.
1598 Shakespeare Henry IV, Pt. 1 i. iii. 212 Ile keepe them all; By God he shall not haue a Scot of them.
1662 E. Stillingfleet Origines Sacræ iii. iii. §8 With what care they are got, with what fear they are kept, and with what certainty they must be lost.
a1715 Bp. G. Burnet Hist. Own Time (1724) I. 93 The great art of keeping him long was, the being easy, and the making every thing easy to him.
1803 Pic Nic No. 8. 3 These poets now keep but a feeble hold of the stage.
1861 Temple Bar 3 336 The variety keeps the children's attention.
1890 Lippincott's Monthly Mag. May 632 His slim forefinger between its leaves to keep the place.
1901 N.E.D. at Keep, Mod. The difficulty now is not to make money, but keep it; you make it and lose it.
†b. to keep one's own = to hold one's own (hold v. 31a). to keep your luff , to keep your offing , to keep your wind : see the ns.
1627 J. Smith Sea Gram. ix. 39 If you would‥keepe your owne, that is, not‥fall to lee-ward.
c. fig. in phrases, as to keep one's temper (i.e. not to lose it): see the ns.
†d. ellipt. To retain in the memory, remember.
1573 J. Baret Aluearie I 27 We keepe those thinges most surely, that we learne in youth.
1612 J. Brinsley Ludus Lit. ix. 141 Thus they shall keepe their Authours, which they haue learned.
e. Colloq. phr. you (etc.) can keep (something) : it arouses no desire, envy, or interest in me; I am not interested in (it), I do not like (it).
1956 J. Popplewell Dead on Nine in Plays of Year XIII. 335 Robert. My hobby's writing plays. Tom. You can keep it.
1962 M. Drabble Summer Bird-cage i. 8 The reviews‥talk about his delicate perception and keen wit, but for me they can keep them.
1967 R. Wilkinson Pressure Men viii. 72, I felt better here. They could keep London.
1971 Guardian 11 Dec. 5/1 They're a miserable lot of sods. If that is an example of the spirit of the people of Windsor, they can keep it.
1973 Guardian 12 Apr. 13/3 It makes me a bit sick actually and they can keep their mag as far as I am concerned.
30. To withhold (from): implying exertion or effort to prevent a thing from going or getting to another.
?1463 R. Cutler in Paston Lett. & Papers (2004) II. 260 It is a comon prouerbe, ‘A man xuld kepe fro þe blynde and ȝeuyt to is kyn’.
1569 R. Grafton Chron. II. 282 Mine aduersary, who kepeth wrongfully from me mine heritage.
1585 T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie iv. xvi. 131 Where they would not receive his salvation, the same for ever shalbe kept from them.
1667 Milton Paradise Lost ix. 746 Great are thy Vertues, doubtless, best of Fruits, Though kept from Man.
31. To hide, conceal; not to divulge. Chiefly in phr., as to keep counsel n., a secret adj. and n. : see the ns.
a1382 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(1)) (1850) Isa. xlviii. 6 Thingus‥kept ben that thou knowist not.
c1400 Rom. Rose 2858 A felowe that can welle concele, And kepe thi counselle, and welle hele.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. cccxxiv, To the promotours they promise a reward and to kepe their counsel.
1781 D. Williams tr. Voltaire Dramat. Wks. II. 233 Take the money and keep the secret.
1847 F. Marryat Children of New Forest II. iii. 63 You must keep our secret, Oswald.
1859 Thackeray Virginians xxi, There is no keeping any thing from you.
1888 G. Gissing Life's Morning II. xiv. 227 For a week he kept his counsel, and behaved as if nothing unusual had happened.
32. To continue to follow (a way, path, course, etc.), so as not to lose it or get out of it.
c1425 Lydgate Assembly of Gods 256 Thowgh ye wepe yet shal ye before me Ay kepe your course.
1553 S. Cabot in R. Hakluyt Princ. Navigations (1589) i. 259 All courses in Nauigation to be set and kept, by the aduice of the Captaine.
a1616 Shakespeare King John (1623) ii. i. 339 Vnlesse thou let his siluer Water, keepe A peacefull progresse to the Ocean.
a1616 Shakespeare Merry Wives of Windsor (1623) iii. ii. 1 Nay keepe your way‥you were wont to be a follower, but now you are a Leader.
1632 W. Lithgow Totall Disc. Trav. vi. 258 The Friers and Souldiers removed; keeping their course towards Jericho.
1719 D. Defoe Farther Adventures Robinson Crusoe 234 We kept no Path.
1870 E. Peacock Ralf Skirlaugh II. 98 Taking care to keep the middle of the road.
1892 Field 21 May 777/1 How the driver kept the track is a marvel.
a. To stay or remain in, on, or at (a place); not to leave; esp. in to keep one's bed , to keep one's room (as in sickness); to keep the house . Cf. to keep to at Phrasal verbs 1.
1413 Pilgr. Sowle (1859) i. xxii. 25 Thou kepyst now thy bed. Thyne ydlenes and slouthe hath this y bred.
c1430 Syr Gener. (Roxb.) 1526 His doghtre Clarionas She kept the chambre, as Reason was.
1523 Ld. Berners tr. J. Froissart Cronycles I. xlix. 69 These engyns dyd cast night and day great stones‥so that they within were fayne to kepe vautes and sellars.
1534 Bible (Tyndale rev. Joye) Acts ix. 33 A certayne man whych had kepte hys bed viii. yere.
1542–3 Act 34 & 35 Hen. VIII c. 4 Sundrie persons‥kepe their houses, not mindinge to paie‥their debts.
1575 R. Laneham Let. (1871) 33 The weather being hot, her highnes kept the Castl for coolness.
1647 J. Trapp Comm. Epist. & Rev. (2 Titus) 343 The Aegyptian women ware no shoes, that they might the better keep home.
1667 Sir E. Lyttelton in Hatton Corr. (1878) 51, I have kept my chamber ever since last Tuesday.
1813 J. Austen Pride & Prejudice III. iv. 68 My poor mother is really ill, and keeps her room.
1828 Scott Fair Maid of Perth iv, in Chron. Canongate 2nd Ser. II. 110 To speak plainly, she keeps her bed.
1864 Tennyson Enoch Arden 24 In this the children play'd at keeping house.
1885 E. Lawless Millionaire's Cousin iv. 76 Am I bound to keep my own side of the partition?
b. To stay or retain one's place in or on, against opposition; as to keep the deck , to keep the saddle , to keep the field , to keep the stage , to keep one's seat , to keep one's ground .
1600 Shakespeare Henry V iv. vi. 2 Yet all is not done, yet keepe the French the field.
1632 W. Lithgow Totall Disc. Trav. iii. 99 The tempest continuing (our Boate not being able to keepe the Seas) we were constrained to seeke into a Creeke.
1748 B. Robins & R. Walter Voy. round World by Anson iii. i. 298 Only sixteen men, and eleven boys were capable of keeping the deck.
1823 Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. 14 555 Not a single tragedy of Beaumont and Fletcher's has been able to keep the stage.
1835 C. Thirlwall Hist. Greece I. iv. 113 It [the story] kept its ground in spite of the interest‥in distorting or suppressing it.
1849 T. B. Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. v. 579 The wonder is‥that they were able to keep their seats.
1890 Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. 148 435/2 A first-class boat, capable of keeping the sea all the year round.
**** To carry on, conduct, hold.
34. To carry on, conduct, as presiding officer or a chief actor (an assembly, court, fair, market, etc.); = hold v. 8a.
?a1475 (1425) tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Harl.) (1874) V. 119 [Silvester] whiche kepede the firste grete cownsayle of Nicene.
1490 Caxton tr. Foure Sonnes of Aymon (1885) ix. 202 He wolde kepe parlyamente wyth them.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) 2 Macc. iv. 43 Of these matters therfore there was kepte a courte agaynst Menelaus.
1546 in T. Smith & L. T. Smith Eng. Gilds (1870) 222 In the same Towne there ys a merkett, wekely kepte.
1585 T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie iii. xvii. 102 b, There‥they kept a generall chapter or assembly.
1634 W. Wood New Englands Prospect i. x. 38 This Towne [sc. Boston]‥being the Center of the Plantations where the monthly Courts are kept.
1752 H. Fielding Amelia IV. xi. iii. 147 His Wife soon afterwards began to keep an Assembly, or in the fashionable Phrase, to be at home once a Week.
1871 C. M. Yonge Cameos cvi, in Monthly Packet Aug. 110 Henry was keeping court at Lincoln, where he meant to spend Easter.
35. To carry on and manage, to conduct as one's own (an establishment or business, a school, shop, etc.). to keep house: see house n.1 and int. Phrases 4b.
a1535 T. More Hist. Richard III in Wks. (1557) 40/1 Ye noble prince‥kept his houshold at Ludlow in wales.
a1616 Shakespeare Twelfth Night (1623) iii. ii. 71 Like a Pedant that keepes a Schoole i' th Church.
1660 F. Brooke tr. V. Le Blanc World Surveyed 29 He kept an Inn common to all passengers.
1698 J. Fryer New Acct. E.-India & Persia 194 Barbers‥seldom keep Shop, but go about the City with a checquered Apron over their Shulders.
1711 R. Steele Spectator No. 155. ⁋2, I keep a Coffee-house.
1847 Knickerbocker 30 511 A girl whose education does not qualify her for ‘keeping school’.
1849 E. Chamberlain Indiana Gazetteer (ed. 3) 196 There are in the County‥school houses in which schools are kept, a portion of the year, in most of the school districts.
1867 ‘T. Lackland’ Homespun ii. 264 Mr. John Porringer‥‘kept’ this school, and was in the way of keeping it so long as he lived and liked.
1877 W. O. Russell Crimes & Misdemeanours ii. xxviii. 427 The keeping a bawdy-house is a common nuisance.
1890 Harper's Mag. Oct. 747/2 They came here and kept lodgings.
36. To carry on, maintain; to continue to make, cause, or do (an action, war, disturbance, or the like). Cf. to keep up at Phrasal verbs 1.
c1425 Lydgate Assembly of Gods 1825 In man shall thow fynde that werre kept dayly.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. ccviijv, Warre was to be kepte vpon, hys frontiers.
1568 T. Howell Newe Sonets (1879) 147 Dyd flee from fredom to the courte, Where Venus only keepes the coyle.
1602 J. Marston Antonios Reuenge iii. iv. sig. F3v, What an idle prate thou keep'st? good nurse goe sleepe.
a1616 Shakespeare Comedy of Errors (1623) iii. i. 62 Who is that at the doore yt keepes all this noise?
a1616 Shakespeare Twelfth Night (1623) ii. iii. 69 What a catterwalling doe you keepe heere?
1665 J. Glanvill Def. Vanity Dogm. 41 'Tis strange that the Ancients should keep such ado about an easie Probleme.
a1784 Johnson in Mrs. Piozzi's Anecd. 34 The nonsense you now keep such a stir about.
1818 Shelley Revolt of Islam vi. vii, Ships from Propontes keep A killing rain of fire.
III. Intransitive uses. Arising from ellipsis of refl. pron.
37. To reside, dwell, live, lodge. (Freq. in literary use from c1580 to 1650; now only colloq., esp. at Cambridge University and in U.S.)
[1402–3 in J. T. Fowler Extracts Acct. Rolls Abbey of Durham (1898) I. 217 Camera ubi pueri custodiunt.]
c1400 Mandeville's Trav. (Roxb.) xxv. 117 Þis emperour‥ hase many men kepand at his courte.
1401 Pol. Poems (Rolls) II. 65 Sich as ben gaderid in coventis‥the whiche for worldly combraunce kepen in cloistris.
1504 in S. Tymms Wills & Inventories Bury St. Edmunds (1850) 102, I wyll yt he or they shall keep at Cambryge at scoole.
1601 P. Holland tr. Pliny Hist. World I. 127 Among the mountaines of this tract, the Pygmæans, by report do keepe.
1633 P. Fletcher Purple Island v. xxv. 53 Here stands the palace of the noblest sense; Here Visus keeps.
1719 in R. Willis & J. W. Clark Archit. Hist. Univ. Cambr. (1886) II. 214 In ye Room where Mr Maynard keeps there was acted‥a Pastoral.
1775 A. Adams in J. Q. Adams Familiar Lett. (1876) 128, I have‥been upon a visit to Mrs. Morgan, who keeps at Major Mifflin's.
1825 J. Neal Brother Jonathan I. 255 A little ‘Virginny gal’ who was ‘keepin’ there.
1859 J. Payn Foster Brothers xvii. 314 Where does Mr. Hollis ‘keep’? inquired he of his bedmaker.
1883 Cambridge Staircase viii. 137 Holtmore‥keeps out of college.
1889 Boston (Mass.) Jrnl. 8 July 3/3 Just where Mrs. Stevens kept in Boston is unknown to history.
a. To remain or stay for the time (in a particular place or spot).
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. ccxiiij, The rest‥were driuen to kepe in caues and sellars vnder the earth.
1597 T. Morley Plaine & Easie Introd. Musicke Pref., Being compelled to keepe at home.
a1616 Shakespeare Antony & Cleopatra (1623) iii. vii. 74 Marcus Octauius‥and Celius are for Sea: But we keepe whole by Land.
1719 D. Defoe Life Robinson Crusoe 55 If we had kept on board, we had been all safe.
1719 D. Defoe Life Robinson Crusoe 272, I kept‥within Doors.
1863 ‘G. Eliot’ Romola II. xv. 177 He suggested that she should keep in her own room.
1890 W. C. Russell Ocean Trag. III. xxx. 136, I told him to keep where he was.
1891 F. W. Robinson Her Love & his Life III. vi. ii. 112 The wind kept in the proper quarter.
b. Of a school: to be held. U.S.
1845 Knickerbocker 26 277 One afternoon, when ‘school didn't keep’, some one got into the house.
1867 ‘T. Lackland’ Homespun i. 123 The District School has not ‘kept’ since the week began.
1908 M. E. Freeman Shoulders of Atlas 68 School ain't going to keep today.
39. To remain or continue in a specified condition, state, position, etc.
a. With adverbial or prepositional phrases: see also branch Phrasal verbs 1.
a1616 Shakespeare Merry Wives of Windsor (1623) iii. iii. 77 Keepe in that minde, Ile deserue it.
1660 F. Brooke tr. V. Le Blanc World Surveyed 93 You must recede and keep at distance.
1670–98 S. Wilson Lassels's Voy. Italy II. 234 We strangers‥must keep out of their way, and stand a loof off.
1697 Dryden tr. Virgil Æneis ii, in tr. Virgil Wks. 263 Creusa kept behind.
1705 tr. W. Bosman New Descr. Coast of Guinea xx. 411 If they have not hit the Buffel they sit still, and keep out of Danger.
1805 Ld. Nelson 20 Oct. in Dispatches & Lett. (1846) VII. 136 To keep‥in sight of the Enemy in the night.
1823 Douglas, or, Otterburn II. viii. 102 Mervine kept by the side of his friend.
1883 G. M. Fenn Middy & Ensign xxviii. 171 The men kept in excellent health.
1890 T. F. Tout Hist. Eng. from 1689 viii. iv. 48 He kept in touch with public opinion.
b. with adj. (or equivalent substantive).
c1600 Acct.-bk. W. Wray in Antiquary (1896) 32 80 This‥will kepe but one yeare good.
a1616 Shakespeare Comedy of Errors (1623) ii. i. 26 This seruitude makes you to keepe vnwed.
1699 W. Dampier Voy. & Descr. iii. v. 47 When these hot Winds come the better sort of People‥keep close.
1814 Doyle in W. J. Fitz-Patrick Life (1880) I. 66 We were constantly making efforts to keep clear of them.
1825 New Monthly Mag. 15 406 It will keep sweet a very long time.
1870 J. R. Lowell My Study Windows 120 It is the part of a critic to keep cool under whatever circumstances.
1883 G. M. Fenn Middy & Ensign xiv. 78 We want to keep friends.
a. To continue, persevere, go on (in a specified course or action).
1548 Hall's Vnion: Edward IV f. ccxiv, The Dukes messengers‥durst not kepe on their iorney.
1569 R. Grafton Chron. II. 91 He had such comfort of the king, as he kept on his purpose.
1597 Shakespeare Richard II v. ii. 10 The Duke‥With slow, but stately pase kept on his course.
1709 R. Steele Tatler No. 48. ⁋4 We kept on our Way after him till we came to Exchange-Alley.
1857 B. Taylor Northern Trav. 48 We kept down the left bank of the river for a little distance.
1889 W. Westall Birch Dene III. ii. 41 Turn to the left and keep straight on.
1891 ‘H. S. Merriman’ Prisoners & Captives III. xiv. 235 After passing Spitzbergen they would keep to the north.
b. With pres. pple. as compl.
1800 W. Gifford Baviad (ed. 6) 27 (note) Some contemptible vulgarity, such as ‘That's your sort!’‥‘What's to pay?’ ‘Keep moving’, &c.
1806 J. Beresford Miseries Human Life I. vi. 131 The Monster‥keeps braying away.
1858 N. Hawthorne Fr. & Ital. Jrnls. I. 124 Niagara‥keeps pouring on forever and ever.
1890 T. F. Tout Hist. Eng. from 1689 134 He kept changing his plans.
1892 Temple Bar Feb. 198 She kept tumbling off her horse.
41. To remain in good condition; to last without spoiling. Also fig. to admit of being reserved for another occasion.
a1586 Sir P. Sidney Arcadia (1590) i. sig. M8v, Doth beauties keep, which neuer Sunne can burne, Nor stormes doo turne.
1626 Bacon Sylva Sylvarum §627 Grapes‥it is reported‥will keep better in a vessel half full of wine, so that the grapes touch not the wine.
1705 Lett. in Chr. Wordsworth Scholæ Academ. (1877) 291 When he is to be buried I can't tell, but they say he can't keep long.
1719 D. Defoe Life Robinson Crusoe 198, I had no Hops to make it keep.
1836 T. P. Thompson Exercises (1842) IV. 106, I will defer any observations‥till my next. And there was nothing but what will keep.
1847 F. Marryat Children of New Forest I. v. 85 He brought home more venison that would keep in the hot weather.
1889 A. Conan Doyle Micah Clarke xi. 92 Your story, however, can keep.
PV1. With adverbs. to keep away
1. trans. To cause to remain absent or afar; to prevent from coming near.
1548 Hall's Vnion: Edward IV f. ccxi, Her frendes‥said, that she was kept awaie‥by Sorcerers and Necromanciers.
a1616 Shakespeare Henry VI, Pt. 1 (1623) iv. iv. 22 Let not your priuate discord keepe away The leuied succours that should lend him ayde.
1872 E. A. Freeman Gen. Sketch European Hist. xvii. §3. 352 The French frontier, which first reached the Rhine in 1648, is now kept quite away from it.
2. intr. To remain absent or at a distance; to hold one's course at a distance; to move off.
a1616 Shakespeare Othello (1622) iii. iv. 170 What, keepe a weeke away? seuen daies and nights.
a1889 W. Collins Blind Love (1890) III. liii. 130, I could not keep away from you.
3. Naut. trans. To cause to sail ‘off the wind’ or to leeward. intr., to sail off the wind or to leeward.
1805 E. Berry 13 Oct. in Ld. Nelson Disp. & Lett. (1846) VII. 118 (note) , I was determined not to keep away, and I could not tack without the certainty of a broadside.
1867 W. H. Smyth Sailor's Word-bk. (at cited word), Keep her away, alter the ship's course to leeward, by sailing further off the wind.
1874 F. G. D. Bedford Sailor's Pocket Bk. iv. 100 If the vessel keeps away [from wind's eye] 5 points she must steam or sail at the rate of 7·2 knots, to be in an equally good position.
to keep back
1. trans. To restrain; to detain; to hold back forcibly; to retard the progress, advance, or growth of.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) 2 Kings iv. 24 Dryue forth, and kepe me not bak with rydinge.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. cccclxiijv, I haue kept backe no man from the true Religion.
1678 N. Wanley Wonders Little World v. i. §98. 468/1 He‥strongly kept back the Turk from encroachments upon his Dominions.
1698 J. Fryer New Acct. E.-India & Persia 310 The Wheat stands, to endure a farther ripening, being kept back by the Chill Winds.
1848 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 9 ii. 556 Bine that has been kept back‥by cold weather.
1890 G. M. Fenn Double Knot I. iv. 129 She made a brave effort to keep back her tears.
2. To withhold; to retain or reserve designedly; to conceal.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) Psalms xxxix. [xl.] 10, I kepe not thy louynge mercy‥backe from the greate congregacion.
1583 P. Stubbes Second Pt. Anat. Abuses sig. L4v, The church will keepe no part of the liuing backe from the pastor, if he doe his dutie.
1612 Bacon Ess. (new ed.) 120 Some are so close, and reserved, as they‥seeme alwaies to keepe back somewhat.
1647 H. More Philos. Poems ii. i. ii. vii, Long keppen back from your expecting sight.
1888 G. Gissing Life's Morning II. xv. 302 It really seemed to me as if she were keeping something back.
3. intr. To hold oneself or remain back.
1836 Dickens Pickwick Papers (1837) iv. 35 There was a request to ‘keep back’ from the front.
to keep down
1. trans. To hold down; to hold in subjection or under control; to repress. spec. to retain (food, etc.) in one's stomach, without vomiting.
1581 G. Pettie tr. S. Guazzo Ciuile Conuersat. (1586) i. 3 b, Sudden flames by force kept downe.
1607 E. Topsell Hist. Fovre-footed Beastes 197 They keepe them low & down by subtraction of their meat.
1659 D. Pell Πελαγος 38 You should‥keep down your spirits both in this and other cases.
1723 D. Defoe Hist. Col. Jack (ed. 2) 79 Will kept the Man down, who was under him.
1849 T. B. Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. i. 34 A hundred thousand soldiers‥will keep down ten millions of ploughmen and artisans.
1889 Repent. P. Wentworth III. xvi. 291 She had hard work to keep down her tears.
1955 ‘A. Gilbert’ Is she Dead Too? vi. 119 Think you could keep some hot tea down? Well, have a try.
1968 ‘S. Woods’ Past Praying For ii. 71 Nothing had been given to Oliver without Dr. Noyes's consent; and, anyway, he couldn't keep anything down.
1969 A. E. Lindop Sight Unseen xxix. 246 He's best with his Eno's if I can get him to keep it down.
1973 ‘A. York’ Captivator iv. 62 ‘Aren't you going to eat?‥’ ‘I don't think I could keep it down.’
2. To keep low in amount or number; to prevent from growing, increasing, or accumulating.
1818 W. Cruise Digest Laws (ed. 2) II. 201 The executors‥ought to keep down the interest.
1840 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 1 iii. 259 The Tartarian oats kept down the clover.
1851 Beck's Florist Jan. 21 Pick off decaying leaves, and keep down insects.
1869 W. Longman Hist. Edward III I. xvi. 309 Employers‥combined to keep down wages.
3. Painting. (See quot. 1854.)
1768 W. Gilpin Ess. Prints 210 The effect‥might have been better, if all the lights upon it had been kept down.
1805 E. Dayes Wks. 290 Should the objects give a sufficient quantity of Light and Shade, the sky may be kept down.
1854 F. W. Fairholt Dict. Terms Art, Kept down, subdued in tone or tint, so that that portion of the picture thus treated is rendered subordinate to some other part.
4. Printing. To set in lower-case type, as a word or letter; to use capitals somewhat sparingly.
1888 C. T. Jacobi Printers' Vocab. 70
5. intr. To remain low or subdued.
1889 M. E. Carter Mrs. Severn III. iii. ix. 219 Praying that the wind would keep down for a few hours.
to keep in
1. trans. To confine within; to hold in check; to restrain; not to utter or give vent to; spec. to confine in school after hours.
a1420 T. Hoccleve De Reg. Princ. 1015 We‥keepe muste our song and wordes in.
1493 Chastysing Goddes Chyldern (de Worde) vi. sig. Biv/1, To kepe in his chyldern that they shold not sterte abrode fro the scole.
a1616 Shakespeare Twelfth Night (1623) i. v. 188 It is more like to be feigned; I pray you keep it in.
1690 W. Walker Idiomatologia Anglo-Lat. 24 He is not able to keep in his anger.
1713 J. Addison Cato i. iv, Your zeal becomes importunate‥but learn to keep it in.
1893 Pall Mall Mag. 1 28 He had been ‘kept in’‥, and his schoolmates had all gone.
†2. To keep from public currency. Obs.
1573 J. Baret Aluearie K 25 To keepe in corne, to the end to make it deere.
a1693 M. Bruce Good News in Evil Times (1708) 68 Thanks be to him that hath ay keeped in our Black side yet, and hath not let the World see it yet.
3. To keep (a fire) burning: cf. in adv. 6g. Also intr. of a fire: To continue to burn.
1659 J. Arrowsmith Armilla Catechetica 160 As culinary fire must be kindled and kept in by external materials.
1711 J. Addison Spectator No. 72. ¶7 They observe the law‥which orders the Fire to be always kept in.
1793 J. Smeaton Narr. Edystone Lighthouse § 247 This evening's tide we worked with links, and it began to blow so fresh that we had much ado to keep them in.
1849 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 10 i. 149 The fire‥keeps in well twelve hours.
1892 Rev. of Reviews 15 Mar. 299/1 The fire can be kept in all night.
4. Printing. To set type closely spaced.
1683 J. Moxon Mech. Exercises II. Dict. 382 Keep in, is a caution either given to, or resolved on, by the Compositer, where there may be doubt of Driving out his Matter beyond his Counting off.
1888 C. T. Jacobi Printers' Vocab. 70
5. to keep one's hand in : see hand n.1 55.
6. intr. To remain indoors, or within a retreat, place, position, etc.
c1430 Syr Gener. (Roxb.) 711 Euermore she kept hir in.
1518 in W. H. Turner Select. Rec. Oxf. 18 The inhabitants of thos howses that be‥infectyd shall kepe in.
1652 J. Gaule Πυς-μαντια 250 It still keeps in (like an Owle) all the day time.
1850 F. T. Finch in ‘Bat’ Cricket Man. 95 Though for years we may keep in, we must at length go out.
7. To keep in line or in touch with.
1733 F. Squire Ess. Hunting 47, I could never yet see any Creature on two Legs keep in with the Dogs.
8. To remain in favour or on good terms with. Cf. in adv. 9a (Now colloq.)
1598 R. Grenewey tr. Tacitus Annales iv. v. 96 He kept in, with Cæsar in no lesse fauour then authoritie.
1666 S. Pepys Diary 1 July (1972) VII. 189 Though I do not love him, yet I find it necessary to keep in with him.
1720 J. Ozell tr. R. A. de Vertot Hist. Revol. Rom. Republic II. xiv. 333 Cæsar‥ resolved to keep in equally with the Senate and Antony.
1883 W. Black Yolande III. v. 86 He's violent enough in the House; but that's to keep in with his constituents.
to keep off
1. trans. To hinder from coming near or touching; to ward off; to avert.
1548 Hall's Vnion: Edward IV f. ccxxxiiiv, Couered with bordes, onely to kepe of the wether.
1599 Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet iii. iii. 54 Ile giue thee armour to keepe off that word.
1662 J. Davies tr. A. Olearius Voy. & Trav. Ambassadors 24 Having white staves in their hands, to keep off the people.
1728 J. Gay Beggar's Opera i. viii. 11 O Polly‥By keeping Men off, you keep them on.
1883 G. M. Fenn Middy & Ensign xxii. 133 An umbrella held up to keep off the sun.
2. intr. To stay at a distance; to refrain from approaching; not to come on.
a1616 Shakespeare Henry VI, Pt. 1 (1623) iv. iv. 21 You‥Keepe off aloofe with worthlesse emulation.
1803 J. Hillyar Aug. in Ld. Nelson Disp. & Lett. (1845) II. 186 (note) , The Master‥told the Boats to keep off.
1861 Dickens Great Expectations II. xx. 334, I‥put him away. ‘Stay!’ said I. ‘Keep off!’
1891 Field 7 Nov. 699/2 If the frost keeps off.
3. trans. To avoid or stay away from; not to use; also as attrib. phr.; keep off the grass: see grass n.1 9a.
1949 M. Mead Male & Female ii. 42 Tchamwole‥placed a keep-off sign on the coconut-palm-trees.
1968 Listener 12 Dec. 790/3 Girls at Amman University have been instructed‥to keep off heavy make-up.
to keep on
1. trans. To maintain or retain in an existing condition or relation; to continue to hold, occupy, employ, entertain, or display.
1669 R. Montagu in Buccleuch MSS (Hist. MSS Comm.) (1899) I. 439 Till the end of the quarter‥her family should be kept on.
1847 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 8 i. 10 If young, they are sometimes kept on for another season, and sent to fold.
1889 A. Sergeant Esther Denison I. i. xi. 138 Bingley asked him awkwardly whether he meant to ‘keep on the house’.
1890 Mrs. H. Wood House of Halliwell II. viii. 213 Let me reproach him as I will, he keeps on that provoking meekness.
2. To keep (a fire, etc.) going continuously.
1891 Rev. of Reviews 15 Sept. 287/2 When a fire is needed to be kept on all night.
3. intr. To continue or persist in a course or action; to go on with something. Now freq. with pres. pple.
1589 G. Puttenham Arte Eng. Poesie ii. iii. 57 In this maner doth the Greeke dactilus begin slowly and keepe on swifter till th' end.
a1616 Shakespeare Othello (1623) iii. iii. 458 The Ponticke Sea, Whose Icie Current‥keepes due on To the Proponticke.
1720 D. Defoe Mem. Cavalier 255 We kept on all Night.
1856 Titan Mag. Dec. 516/1 ‘We shall never come across each other again’, she kept on saying to herself.
1889 A. Conan Doyle Micah Clarke xxii. 224 Strike quick, strike hard, and keep on striking.
†4. To keep the head covered. Obs.
1652–62 P. Heylyn Cosmogr. (1673) iii. 133/2 They keep on of all sides‥accounting it an opprobrious thing to see any men uncover their heads.
5. To remain fixed or attached; to stay on.
1892 Cassell's Family Mag. July 469/2 [His] buttons never keep on.
to keep out
1. trans. To cause to remain without; to prevent from getting in.
c1425 Lydgate Assembly of Gods 770 [He] Wold kepe out that other he shuld nat esyly entre.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. xciiij, The Sea brake in ouer the walles, that are made to kepe it out.
1681 J. Flavell Method of Grace xxxiv. 575 He teaches them how to paint the glass, that he may keep out the light.
1780 W. Coxe Acct. Russ. Discov. 169 In order to keep out the rain.
1821 J. Clare Village Minstrel I. 84 Locks‥To keep out thieves at night.
1864 Dickens Our Mutual Friend (1865) I. i. i. 2 Keep her [a boat] out, Lizzie. Tide runs strong here.
2. Printing. To set type widely spaced.
1683 J. Moxon Mech. Exercises II. Dict. 382 He Sets Wide, to Drive or Keep out.
1888 C. T. Jacobi Printers' Vocab. 70
to keep over
trans. To reserve, hold over.
1847 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 8 i. 6 Some breeders keep them [lambs] over until the next spring.
1893 Field 4 Mar. 331/2 Keeping over old wheat stocks for a rise in price.
to keep to
Naut. trans. To cause (a ship) to sail close to the wind.
1692 Smith's Sea-mans Gram. i. xvi. 76 In keeping the Ship near the Wind, these terms are used‥keep her to, touch the Wind.
1706 Phillips's New World of Words (ed. 6) , Keep your loof or Keep her to.
to keep together
1. trans. To cause to remain in association or union. to keep body (†life) and soul together : to keep (oneself) alive.
a1616 Shakespeare Twelfth Night (1623) iii. i. 48 Clo. Would not a paire of these haue bred sir? Vio. Yes being kept together, and put to vse.
1693 N. Tate in Dryden tr. Juvenal Satires xv. 301 The Vascons once with Man's Flesh (as 'tis sed) Kept Life and Soul together.
1841 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 2 i. 43 It is a poor loose sand‥only kept together by the roots of the sea-bent.
1884 Cent. Mag. Nov. 54/2 How on earth they managed to keep body and soul together.
1901 N.E.D. at Keep, Mod. ‘A hard struggle to keep body and soul together.’
2. intr. To remain associated or united.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. ccccxxxv, Let them‥kepe together, and in no wise scatter abrode.
a1616 Shakespeare Henry V (1623) ii. ii. 102 Treason, and murther, euer kept together.
1768 J. Byron Narr. Patagonia 13 It did not become him to desert it as long as the ship kept together.
1820 W. Irving Sketch Bk. (1859) 181, I have a particular respect for three or four‥chairs‥which seem to me to keep together.
to keep under
trans. To hold in subjection or under control; to keep down.
1486–1504 Quinton MSS. in W. Denton Eng. in 15th Cent. (1888) 318 (Note D) For mane men wyll ley owt more to kepe vnder the pore th(en) for to helpe thaym.
1579 S. Gosson Schoole of Abuse f. 19v, Geue them a bit to keep them vnder.
1611 Bible (A.V.) 1 Cor. ix. 27, I keepe under my body, and bring it into subiection.
1712 G. Berkeley Passive Obed. §13. 16 Like all other Passions [they] must be restrain'd and kept under.
1843 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 4 i. 116 The services of birds in keeping under noxious insects.
1889 J. Masterman Scotts of Bestminster II. ix. 115 She had been accustomed to be kept under all her life.
to keep up
1. trans. To keep shut up or confined.
a1616 Shakespeare Othello (1622) i. ii. 60 Keepe vp your bright swords, for the dew will rust em.
1654 in J. A. Picton City of Liverpool: Select. Munic. Rec. (1883) I. 191 Swyne‥ought to bee kept up in their styes.
1673 W. Wycherley Gentleman Dancing-master ii. i, Have you kept up my daughter close in my absence?
1737 W. Whiston tr. Josephus Jewish Antiq. iv. viii. §36 If his owner‥having known what his nature was‥hath not kept him [an ox] up.
1847 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 8 i. 31 When sheep are kept up in sheds during the winter.
†2. To keep secret or undivulged. Obs.
1678 R. Cudworth True Intellect. Syst. Universe i. iii. 177 So long as these things are concealed and kept up in Huggermugger.
a1715 Bp. G. Burnet Hist. Own Time (1724) I. 406 They‥had not sailed, when the Proclamation came down: Yet it was kept up, till they sailed away.
1725 A. Ramsay Gentle Shepherd ii. iii, What fowk say of me, Bauldy, let me hear; Keep naithing up.
3. To support, sustain; to prevent from sinking or falling. Also intr. To bear up, so as not to break down. to keep the ball up (see ball n.1 Phrases 1). to keep one's wicket up (Cricket): to remain in, to continue one's innings.
1681 J. Flavell Method of Grace ix. 190 Of great use to keep up the soul above water.
1694 F. Bragge Pract. Disc. Parables xiii. 425 To keep up their spirits.
1801 H. Swinburne in Crts. Europe close last Cent. (1841) II. 299 This ridiculous folly keeps the stocks up.
1868 J. E. T. Rogers Man. Polit. Econ. (1876) ix. 88 The purpose of a trades-union is to keep up the price of labour.
1884 Lillywhite's Cricket Ann. 60 He kept up his wicket until the finish.
1889 J. Masterman Scotts of Bestminster II. xii. 262 But for her sweetness and bravery, I never could have kept up through all this terrible trial.
4. To maintain in a worthy or effective condition; to support; to keep in repair; to keep burning.
1552 R. Huloet Abcedarium Anglico Latinum, Kepe vp by cheryshinge, alo, foveo. Kepe vp by maintenaunce, sustento.
1670 Sir S. Crow in 12th Rep. Royal Comm. Hist. MSS (1890) App. v. 15 Findeing that business‥a burden‥to keepe it upp in that perfection I found and made itt.
1678 Lady Chaworth in 12th Rep. Royal Comm. Hist. MSS (1890) App. v. 51 The King had a mind‥to keep up his army and navy till that peace was made.
1701 W. Wotton Hist. Rome: Marcus vi. 106 The Athenians still kept up regular Professors for all those Sciences.
1840 R. H. Dana Two Years before Mast xxvi. 86 We kept up a small fire, by which we cooked our mussels.
1875 E. A. Freeman Hist. Norman Conquest III. xii. 173 A causeway which is still in being and which is kept up as a modern road.
5. To maintain, retain, preserve (a quality, state of things, accomplishment, etc.); to keep from deteriorating or disappearing.
1670 T. S. & A. Roberts Adventures Eng. Merchant 51 Orders of Men‥that keep up the Honour of Religion amongst them.
1705 J. Addison Remarks Italy 379 Albano keeps up its Credit still for Wine.
1791 Gentleman's Mag. Jan. 20/2 The clergy would, from the calls of their profession‥keep up their classical acquirements.
1836 J. Grant Great Metrop. I. ii. 44 They must maintain their dignity; they must keep up appearances.
1884 C. L. Pirkis Judith Wynne I. v. 48 Oughtn't she to have a horse, and keep up her riding?
6. To maintain, continue, go on with (an action or course of action). Esp. in phr. keep it up; spec. to prolong a party, drinking-spree, etc.; to ‘live it up’.
a1535 T. More Hist. Richard III in Wks. (1557) 53/1 For his dissimulacion onelye kepte all that mischyefe vppe.
1711 R. Steele Spectator No. 51. ⁋2 The Difficulty of keeping up a sprightly Dialogue for five Acts together.
1752 J. Millward Let. in M. M. Verney Verney Lett. (1930) II. ii. xxxiv. 250 When they [sc. the Welsh] get in liquor they are very troublesome and noisy. They kept it up all night.
1783 Ann. Reg. 1781 Hist. Europe 16/1 Continual firing‥was kept up during the day.
1788 F. Grose Classical Dict. Vulgar Tongue (ed. 2) , To keep it up, to prolong a debauch. We kept it up finely last night; metaphor drawn from the game at shuttlecock.
1801 Farmer's Ha' (new ed.) lxiii. 62 Clear-blooded health‥flees awa' frae keeping 't up, and midnight riot.
1810 M. van H. Dwight Journey to Ohio (1912) 16 The men dress much better—they put on their best cloaths on sunday,‥& ‘keep it up’ as they call it.
1837 Dickens Pickwick Papers lii. 565 We were keeping it up pretty tolerably at the Stump last night, and I'm rather out of sorts this morning.
1869 E. A. Freeman Hist. Norman Conquest III. xiv. 367 The fight is kept up till night-fall.
1874 L. Troubridge Life amongst Troubridges (1966) 76 There were forty-six people and we kept it up till one.‥ I had several good valses.
1890 Lippincott's Monthly Mag. Jan. 11 He and I have kept up a correspondence.
1958 A. Huxley Let. 11 Jan. (1969) 842 Thank you for your long and very interesting letter—written, too, in the most wonderfully black ink.‥ Keep it up!
7. To cause to remain out of bed.
1766 O. Goldsmith Vicar of Wakefield I. ix. 87 Well pleased that my little ones were kept up beyond the usual time.
1839 Thackeray Fatal Boots xii, Keeping her up till four o'clock in the morning.
1889 A. Sergeant Luck of House II. xxxvi. 228, I will keep you up no longer, for you look terribly pale and fagged.
8. Printing. To keep (type or matter) standing; also, to use capitals somewhat freely.
1888 C. T. Jacobi Printers' Vocab. 70
9. to keep up to : to prevent from falling below (a level, standard, principle, etc.); to keep informed of. Also intr. for refl.
1712 R. Steele Spectator No. 308. ⁋2 My Lady's whole Time and Thoughts are spent in keeping up to the Mode.
1726 J. Leoni tr. L. B. Alberti Archit. I. 46/1 This Strength in the Corners is‥only to keep the Wall up to its duty.
1841 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 2 i. 144 It keeps him better up to his work.
1889 J. Masterman Scotts of Bestminster III. xv. 41 A London correspondent who kept the country-folk up to the doings of the townsfolk.
1890 Universal Rev. Aug. 633 We should keep up to the mark in these matters.
10. intr. To continue alongside, keep abreast; to proceed at an equal pace with (lit. and fig.). Esp. (orig. U.S.) in phr. to keep up (often keeping up) with the Joneses (or Jones's) : to strive not to be outdone by one's neighbours; to emulate one's neighbours; also transf.
a1633 G. Herbert Priest to Temple (1652) ii. 5 They are not to be over-submissive and base, but to keep up with the Lord and Lady of the house.
1706 Wooden World Diss. (1708) 35 He tries every Way‥to keep up with his Leader.
1890 W. F. Rae Maygrove II. vii. 272 Don't walk so fast‥I can hardly keep up with you.
1913 A. R. Momand in Globe (N.Y.) 1 Apr. 16/3 (Comic-strip title) Keeping up with the Joneses—by Pop.
1926 Amer. Speech 1 281 Today most of us live in automobilia, where the automocracy is everlastingly trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’.
1927 S. Chase & F. J. Schlink Your Money's Worth i. 7 Certain things we buy‥to keep up with the Joneses, or happily, to surpass the Joneses.
1933 E. Weekley in Trans. Philol. Soc. 94 This tendency to personify by the use of a familiar name is due to the same psychology which describes the social ambitions of the suburbs as ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.
1952 F. P. Keyes Larry Vincent (1953) xxi. 284 He could not be thankful enough that he did not have a nagging wife, one who insisted on making a show, on ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, as people were beginning to say.
1957 Observer 25 Aug. 7/3 Britain‥, always wanting to keep up with the Joneses of the richer South, hankered all the time after white bread only and achieved it one hundred per cent. by the mid-nineteenth century.
1958 Times 8 Nov. 7/2 Keeping up atomically with the Joneses is precisely what the talks were supposed to prevent.
1963 Times 1 Feb. 6/3 Lord Champion said hire-purchase commitments were often entered into through a stupid desire to keep up with the Joneses. This feeling was exploited by doorstep salesmen.
1970 Times 25 May 7/4 We like to keep up with the Joneses and are therefore well disposed to the new definition of democracy.
1971 Times Lit. Suppl. 1393/3 The lesser funerals, of Pooters with Joneses to keep up with, increased in cost, display and competitiveness.
†11. To stay within doors; to put up or stop at.
1704 Duchess of Marlborough in Buccleuch MSS (Hist. MSS Comm.) (1899) I. 353, I am very sorry to hear Lord Monthermont has had any accident to make him keep up.
1768 L. Sterne Sentimental Journey II. 195 The Voiturin found himself obliged to keep up five miles short of his stage at a little decent kind of an inn.
12. To continue to maintain a friendship or acquaintance; to keep in touch. (Cf. 6.)
1903 C. Coleridge Life C. M. Yonge iv. 127 She did not seem to be able to keep in personal touch with them.‥ She could not, as we say, ‘keep up’ with them.
1916 E. V. Lucas Vermilion Box xlii. 45, I heard this morning of the death‥of two of my oldest friends—Jack Cazalet, who was at school with me, and Sandford Thrale, whom I knew at Oxford. Both went straight into the army, but we had kept up.
1947 ‘N. Shute’ Chequer Board 205 We were all in it together then. We ought to have kept up.
1971 ‘L. Marshall’ Murder's just for Cops xviii. 125 We always kept up—even after I got married.
1971 ‘D. Shannon’ Ringer (1972) i. 20 Mrs. Sneed had known Carolyn‥before she got married, five years back, and they had ‘kept up’.
PV2. With prepositions in specialized senses.(Chiefly from 38, 39, 40.) to keep at ——
1. To work persistently at; to continue to occupy oneself with. Also to keep at it : see at prep. 16b.
1825 New Monthly Mag. 16 490 He should have kept at the law, he would have done for that.
1846 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 7 i. 130 By keeping at it all day he is able to get over nearly 2 acres.
1890 Pictorial World 9 Oct. 445/3 Who could keep at work on a morning like this?
1891 St. Nicholas Mag. 261 Still they keep at it, early and late.
2. Hence humorous nonce-compounds.
1882 Three in Norway v. 38 In a nice keep-at-it-all-day-if-you-like kind of manner.
1895 Proc. 14th Conv. Amer. Instruct. Deaf p. lxix, In school, and out of school,‥at work or play; in short, by everlasting keep-at-it-iveness.
to keep from ——
1. To abstain from; to remain absent or away from.
a1535 T. More Hist. Richard III in Wks. (1557) 45/1 The prosperyte whereof standeth‥in keepynge from enemyes or yll dyande.
c1595 Countess of Pembroke Psalme lxxiv. 57 in Coll. Wks. (1998) II. 97 What is the cause‥That thy right hand farr from us keepes?
a1616 Shakespeare Comedy of Errors (1623) iii. i. 18 You would keepe from my heeles, and beware of an asse.
1728 J. Gay Beggar's Opera i. viii. 10, I shall soon know if you are married, by Macheath's keeping from our House.
2. To restrain or contain oneself from.
1870 C. M. Yonge Cameos xcix, in Monthly Packet Mar. 250 Nor was Louis able to keep from turning pale.
1889 A. Conan Doyle Micah Clarke ii. 20 We could not keep from laughter.
1890 Lippincott's Monthly Mag. Feb. 150, I could hardly keep from smiling.
to keep to ——
1. To adhere to, stick to, abide by (a promise, agreement, etc.); to continue to maintain or observe. Also with indirect passive.
1625 C. Burges New Discov. Personal Tithes 24 He must keepe to his Rule, or hee damnably sinneth.
1697 W. Dampier New Voy. around World xviii. 518 Not finding the Governour keep to his agreement with me.
1781 R. B. Sheridan Critic i. i, If they had kept to that, I should not have been such an enemy to the stage.
1801 M. Edgeworth Forester in Moral Tales I. 104, I will keep to my resolution.
1825 New Monthly Mag. 15 511/2 The author has kept very closely to the historical facts.
1901 N.E.D. at Keep, Mod. I hope the plan will be kept to.
2. To confine or restrict oneself to. to keep to oneself , also (colloq.) to keep oneself to oneself , to avoid the society of others.
1698 J. Fryer New Acct. E.-India & Persia 174 He is married to Four Wives, to whom he keeps religiously.
1711 J. Addison Spectator No. 129. ¶1 Did they keep to one constant Dress they would sometimes be in the Fashion.
1748 S. Richardson Clarissa IV. v. 27, I was resolved to keep myself to myself till I knew the issue of it.
1788 W. Blane Acct. Hunting Excurs. 17 They generally keep to the thick forests where it is impossible to follow them.
1827 B. Disraeli Vivian Grey III. v. xv. 327 We had much better keep to the road.
1846 Swell's Night Guide 45 The divil a rap but that had bin her own, if she'd bin after keeping hersilf to hersilf.
1848 J. H. Newman Loss & Gain iii. ix. 374 What can I have done better than keep myself to myself, go by my best reason, consult the friends whom I happened to find around me, as I have done, and wait in patience till I was sure of my convictions?
1881 G. M. Craik Sydney III. ii. 44 He had merely to keep to the sofa for two or three days.
1889 J. Masterman Scotts of Bestminster I. iv. 142 Content with each other, they kept to themselves.
1891 Sat. Rev. 18 Apr. 483/1 She shall keep to her room and he will keep to his.
1905 H. G. Wells Kipps i. i. 7 They ‘kept themselves to themselves’, according to the English ideal.
1960 ‘H. Carmichael’ Seeds of Hate iv. 37 My husband and I like to keep ourselves to ourselves. We haven't got many friends.
1960 D. Lessing In Pursuit of Eng. iv. 158 She keeps herself to herself so much.
1973 J. Porter It's Murder with Dover ii. 17 Miss Marsh has always been one for keeping herself to herself.
to keep with ——
To remain or stay with; to associate or keep company with; to keep up with.
a1533 Ld. Berners tr. Bk. Duke Huon of Burdeux (1882–7) liv. 181 He may as sone go to your enemyes parte as to kepe with you.
a1616 Shakespeare Winter's Tale (1623) i. ii. 345 Goe then; and‥keepe with Bohemia, And with your Queene.
1817 W. Selwyn Abridgem. Law Nisi Prius (ed. 4) II. 940 To keep with convoy during the whole voyage.
1891 Field 19 Dec. 956/3 The very select few who were fortunate enough to keep with hounds.
Combs. Also keepsake n.
† keep-door n. Obs. nonce-wd. a porter, door-ward.
1682 A. Behn City-heiress iv. i. 45 Good Mistriss keep-door, stand by: for I must enter.
keep-fit adj. denoting exercises, etc., designed to keep people fit and healthy, and (occas.) a person who does such exercises; also ellipt. as n.
1938 M. Carter Living Soul in Holloway vi. 77 Gardening comes into their day's programme and ‘keep fit’ exercises.
1939 ‘N. Blake’ Smiler with Knife v. 88 A healthy, bouncing, Keep-Fit sort of girl.
1961 J. Stroud Touch & Go xii. 119 A Girls' Keep Fit class was in session.
1965 W. Lamb Posture & Gesture ii. 31 There could be a revolution in all physical behaviour pursuits,‥including‥country dancing, ballet, and ‘Keep Fit’.
1967 O. Norton Now lying Dead iii. 54 Monday he goes to his Keep Fit. Imagine him in his little black shorts!
1971 Fremdsprachen 15 63 Women‥going to ‘Keep Fit’ classes.
1974 H. R. F. Keating Bats fly Up vii. 78 The OSP's well-known mania for keep-fit.
† keep-friend n. Obs. (see quot.).
1675 Hist. Don Quix. 45 He had besides two iron rings about his neck, the one of the chain, and the other of that kind which are called A keep-friend, or the foot of a friend; from whence descended two irons unto his middle.
keep-left adj. designating a sign, etc., directing traffic to the left of the road.
1936 Discovery Nov. 359/1 Street lamps, traffic bollards, and ‘keep left’ signs are automatically lit.
1962 C. Watson Hopjoy was Here iv. 38 A pair of dogs‥coupled on the road's crown and performed a six-legged waltz around a keep-left bollard.
† keep-net n. Obs. ? a net for keeping fish in.
1623 R. Whitbourne Disc. New-found-land 75 Ten keipnet Irons‥Twine to make Keipnets, &c.
† keep-off n. Obs. a means of keeping (persons, etc.) off; also as adj., serving to keep (foes) off.
?1611 G. Chapman tr. Homer Iliads vii. 121 He fought not with a keep-off spear, or with a far-shot bow.
?1615 G. Chapman tr. Homer Odysses (new ed.) xiv. 759 A lance‥To be his keep-off both 'gainst men and dogs.
keep-out adj. designating a sign that prohibits entry.
1971 J. McClure Steam Pig v. 75 A deserted area surrounded by Keep Out signs.
1974 Times 9 May 6/5 To protect your garden a ‘keep out’ sign is not enough. You also need a tall fence.
Draft additions December 2005
trans. orig. and chiefly U.S. to keep it real .
a. colloq. To do things in an authentic or traditional manner; (esp. in African-American usage) to behave unaffectedly, to remain connected to one's origins, culture, or beliefs (freq. in imper.).
1975 J. Lee & G. Brown Mango Sunrise (record) (title of song) Keep it real.
1977 Washington Post 3 Mar. d9/2 Another reason the affair probably never will succumb to country chic is that promoter Don Liscomb keeps it real. The logs the contestants split and chop are not the butter-soft green poplars used in most such contests.
1994 Chron. Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) 1 Dec. a8/3 ‘Gangsta’ rappers place ‘so much emphasis on keeping it real, and not selling out’.
1999 J. M. Favor Authentic Blackness i. 2 Hip-hop artists remind themselves and their audiences to ‘stay black’ or ‘keep it real’.
2001 S. O'Nan Everyday People 232 Later, dropping him off, Smooth called after him, ‘Keep it real, man.’
2004 South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) (Nexis) 3 Sept., Against the tide of new mooncakes, there are traditionalists keeping it real.
b. To make a dramatic representation or performance as realistic as possible.
1977 N.Y. Times 26 June d15/4 We're playing it straight. It's bigger than life, so we're trying to keep it real. Often, we'd cross the line out of humor into camp, and then we'd pull back.
1981 N.Y. Times Mag. 12 July 26/2 He can keep it real, as opposed to theatrical.
1984 Newsweek (Nexis) 23 Apr. 79 Keep it real: that's the Duvall esthetic, and by devoting himself to scrupulous, egoless authenticity he has become the most respected character actor of his generation.
2004 B. Lynn Improvisation for Actors & Writers xvi. 84 Martin Short's ‘Jiminy Glick’ is almost over the top, but the actor keeps it real‥. As a result, Jiminy is an utterly convincing character.
Second edition, 1989; online version December 2011.