keep


keep
{{11}}keep (n.) mid-13c., "care or heed in watching," from KEEP (Cf. keep) (v.). Meaning "innermost stronghold of a tower" is from 1580s, perhaps a translation of It. tenazza, with a notion of "that which keeps" (someone or something); the sense of "food required to keep a person or animal" is attested from 1801. For keeps "completely, for good" is Amer.Eng. colloquial, from 1861.
{{12}}keep (v.) late O.E. cepan "to seize, hold," also "to observe," from P.Gmc. *kopijanan, but with no certain connection to other languages. It possibly is related to O.E. capian "to look," from P.Gmc. *kap- (cepan was used c.1000 to render L. observare), which would make the basic sense "to keep an eye on."
The word prob. belongs primarily to the vulgar and non-literary stratum of the language; but it comes up suddenly into literary use c.1000, and that in many senses, indicating considerable previous development. [OED]
Sense of "preserve, maintain" is from mid-14c. Meaning "to maintain in proper order" is from 1550s; meaning "financially support and privately control" (usually in reference to mistresses) is from 1540s. Related: Kept; keeping.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Keep — (k[=e]p), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Kept} (k[e^]pt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Keeping}.] [OE. k[=e]pen, AS. c[=e]pan to keep, regard, desire, await, take, betake; cf. AS. copenere lover, OE. copnien to desire.] 1. To care; to desire. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — [kiːp] verb kept PTandPP [kept] 1. [transitive] to store something that will be useful: • The Credit Reference Agency keeps files on individuals debt records. • You should keep a supply of forms. 2 …   Financial and business terms

  • Keep — Keep, v. i. 1. To remain in any position or state; to continue; to abide; to stay; as, to keep at a distance; to keep aloft; to keep near; to keep in the house; to keep before or behind; to keep in favor; to keep out of company, or out reach.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — vb 1 Keep, observe, celebrate, solemnize, commemorate are comparable when they mean to pay proper attention or honor to something prescribed, obligatory, or demanded (as by one s nationality, religion, or rank), but they vary widely in their… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • keep — [kēp] vt. kept, keeping [ME kepen < OE cœpan, to behold, watch out for, lay hold of, akin to MLowG kapen, ON kopa, to stare at < ? IE base * ĝab , to look at or for] 1. to observe or pay regard to; specif., a) to observe with due or… …   English World dictionary

  • keep — ► VERB (past and past part. kept) 1) have or retain possession of. 2) retain or reserve for use in the future. 3) put or store in a regular place. 4) (of a perishable commodity) remain in good condition. 5) continue in a specified condition,… …   English terms dictionary

  • Keep — Keep, n. 1. The act or office of keeping; custody; guard; care; heed; charge. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Pan, thou god of shepherds all, Which of our tender lambkins takest keep. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of being kept; hence, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • keep — keep; green·keep·er; house·keep; house·keep·er; keep·able; keep·er·ing; keep·er·ship; keep·sake; store·keep; keep·er; …   English syllables

  • Keep — 〈f. 20; Seemannsspr.〉 Kerbe, Rille * * * Keep, die; , en [aus dem Niederd. < mniederd. kēp, wohl verw. mit ↑ kappen] (Seemannsspr.): Rille, Kerbe (in einer Boje, einem Block, Mast o. Ä.), die einem darumgelegten Tau Halt gibt. * * * I Keep   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • keep — I (continue) verb be constant, be steadfast, carry forward, carry on, endure, extend, forge ahead, go on, keep going, last, lengthen, live on, maintain, move ahead, never cease, perpetuate, perseverare, persevere, persist, press onward, progress …   Law dictionary

  • keep — The construction keep + object + from + ing verb is idiomatic in current English: • His hands held flat over his ears as if to keep his whole head from flying apart Martin Amis, 1978. The intransitive use of keep + from + ing verb is recorded in… …   Modern English usage


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