Middle English kepen (“to keep, guard, look after, watch”), from Old English cēpan (“to seize, hold, observe”), from Proto-Germanic *kōpijaną (compare West Frisian kypje ‘to look’), variant of *kapōną (compare Old English capian ‘to look’, Dutch kapen ‘to seize, snatch’, German kapfen ‘to gape’, Danish kope (“to gawk, stare”)), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵab-, *ǵāb- (“to look after”) (compare Lithuanian žẽbti ‘to eat reluctantly’, Russian забота (zabota) ‘care, worry’).
keep (third-person singular simple present keeps, present participle keeping, simple past and past participle kept)
- (transitive) To maintain possession of.
- I keep a small stock of painkillers for emergencies.
- (transitive) To maintain the condition of.
- I keep my specimens under glass to protect them.
- The abundance of squirrels kept the dogs running for hours.
- (transitive, archaic) To remain in, to be confined to.
- 1605, William Shakespeare, King Lear, III.ii,
- The wrathful skies / Gallow the very wanderers of the dark / And make them keep their caves.
- (obsolete) To wait for, keep watch for.
- 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book VIII:
- And than Sir Trystrames rode prevayly unto the posterne where kepte hym La Beale Isode, and there she made hym grete chere, and thanked God of his good spede.
- (transitive) To restrain.
- I keep my brother out of trouble by keeping him away from his friends and hard at work.
- (transitive, with from) To protect, guard.
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.viii:
- cursse on thy cruell hond, / That twise hath sped; yet shall it not thee keepe / From the third brunt of this my fatall brond [...].
- May the Lord keep you from harm.
- (intransitive) To continue.
- I keep taking the tablets, but to no avail.
- (intransitive) To remain edible or otherwise usable.
- Potatoes can keep if they are in a root cellar.
- Latex paint won't keep indefinitely.
- (intransitive, copulative) To remain in a state.
- The rabbit avoided detection by keeping still.
- (intransitive, cricket) To act as wicket-keeper.
- Godfrey Evans kept for England for many years.
- (transitive, of living things) To raise; to care for.
- He has been keeping orchids since retiring.
- 1914, Robert Joos, Success with Hens, Forbes & company, page 217:
- Of course boys are boys and need watching, but there is little watching necessary when they keep chickens.
- 2011 December 14, Steven Morris, “Devon woman jailed for 168 days for killing kitten in microwave”, Guardian:
- Jailing her on Wednesday, magistrate Liz Clyne told Robins: "You have shown little remorse either for the death of the kitten or the trauma to your former friend Sarah Knutton." She was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
- (transitive) To supply with necessities and financially support a person.
Derived terms 
Look at pages starting with keep.
Terms derived from the verb keep
Related terms 
to maintain possession of
to maintain the condition of; to preserve
to remain in, to be confined to
of livestock: to raise; to care for
supply with necessities and financially support a person
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
Wikipedia keep (plural keeps)
- (obsolete) Care, notice
- 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book VII:
- So Sir Gareth strayned hym so that his olde wounde braste ayen on bledynge; but he was hote and corragyous and toke no kepe, but with his grete forse he strake downe the knyght [...].
- (historical) The main tower of a castle or fortress, located within the castle walls.
- The food or money required to keep someone alive and healthy; one's support, maintenance.
- He works as a cobbler's apprentice for his keep.
Derived terms 
See also 
keep (genitive keebi, partitive keepi)
- cloak, capote, gaberdine
- This Estonian noun needs an inflection-table template.
Middle English 
- take keep — “take note”
- Chaucer, G.P. 503-4:
- And shame it is, if a preest take keep
- A shiten shepherde and a clene sheep
Yucatec Maya 
keep (plural keepo’ob)
- (anatomy) penis