keep


keep
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 range of reference or application. Keep and observe are closely synonymous terms, especially when they imply heed of what is prescribed or obligatory, but they differ fundamentally in their connotations.
Keep implies opposition to break, and emphasizes the idea of not neglecting or violating; thus, one keeps, rather than observes, a promise
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keep the peace

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{

keep the commandments

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Observe carries such positive implications as punctiliousness in performance of required acts and rites and a spirit of respect or reverence for what one heeds or honors; when these more appropriate ideas are definitely to be suggested observe is the more appropriate term, even though keep would otherwise be possible; thus, few persons observe, rather than keep, the Sabbath in the manner of the early Puritans
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observed Passover with the utmost strictness

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he observes the letter of the law

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Celebrate and solemnize are also close synonyms because they may take as their objects not only a day, a season, or an occasion which for religious, political, or other significant reasons is observed with pomp and ceremony but also a ceremony or rite, usually a religious ceremony or rite, that is marked with unusual dignity and splendor.
Celebrate, however, except in certain idiomatic phrases (as celebrate the Eucharist, celebrate a marriage, celebrate Mass) in which the gravity and forms of religion are implicit, suggests demonstrations of joy or festivity (as by singing, shouting, speechmaking, and feasting)
{

celebrate Independence Day

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celebrated their golden wedding

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the family decided to celebrate the occasion by a large dinner party

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Solemnize as applied to occasions of joy and festivity stresses their grave, ceremonious, or solemn aspects and usually suggests greater formality in observance and greater dignity and splendor of ceremony than does celebrate
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Harvard each June solemnizes the award of degrees to students . . . of the University— Official Register of Harvard Univ.

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,solemnize this sorrowing natal day to prove our loyal truth— Burns

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The term is often specifically used of the celebrating of marriage especially with the fullest applicable religious ceremonial; thus, in the Roman Catholic Church a marriage is solemnized only when administration of the sacrament of matrimony is followed by a nuptial Mass and a special blessing
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Catholics may marry but their marriages may not be solemnized during Lent

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Commemorate implies remembrance and suggests observances that tend to call to mind what the occasion (as the day, the season, or the ceremony) stands for; thus, one celebrates Christmas by religious ceremonies that commemorate the birth of Christ; the people of the United States commemorate the birth of their independence on the 4th of July; the French people commemorate the fall of the Bastille on the 14th of July.
Analogous words: regard, respect (see under REGARD n)
Antonyms: break
Contrasted words: *neglect, ignore, forget, disregard, overlook, omit, slight: violate, transgress, contravene, infringe (see corresponding nouns at BREACH)
2 Keep, keep back, keep out, retain, detain, withhold, reserve, hold, hold back are comparable in meaning not to let go from one's possession, custody, or control.
Keep is the most general of these terms, often carrying no further implications
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keep this until I ask for it

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When, however, it positively denotes a holding securely in one's possession, custody, or control, keep, or more often keep back, is synonymous with one or another of the remaining terms.
Keep out specifically implies a keeping back of a portion of something
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kept out a part of his salary for emergency expenses

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Retain implies continued keeping, especially as against threatened seizure or forced loss
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Germany was unable to retain her colonies after the first World War

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the conception of one who . . . poor, sickly, and a slave perhaps, or even in prison or on the rack, should nevertheless retain unimpaired the dignity of manhood— Dickinson

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Detain (see also ARREST 2) implies a keeping (as in a place, in conversation, or in one's possession or control) through a delay in letting go that may be based on selfishness or caprice or on entirely acceptable grounds
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detain a ship in quarantine

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much consideration has been given to the practice of detaining children away from home for the sole purpose of diag-nostic study— Service to Youth

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[the cat] let the rat run about his legs, but made no effort to detain him there— Grahame

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Withhold implies restraint in letting go or a refusal to let go. Sometimes it is interchangeable with keep, or keep back, especially when hindrance is also implied
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timidity caused him to withhold the advice he longed to give

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Sometimes, keep and withhold are widely different in meaning; thus, to withhold one's promise is to refuse to give one's promise; to keep (see KEEP 1) one's promise is to fulfill what has been promised. Reserve implies either a keeping in store for other or for future use
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the runner reserved some of his energy for the final sprint

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reserve some of the milk for breakfast

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or a withholding from present or from others' use or enjoyment
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the force of will which had enabled her to reserve the fund intact— Bennett

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reserved his judgment

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Hold and hold back are often used in place of withhold or keep back and sometimes in place of detain and reserve when restraint in letting go, whether self-imposed or imposed by others, is implied
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hold back a portion of each week's wages for group insurance

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held back the truth in giving his testimony

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Analogous words: *save, preserve, conserve: hold, *have, enjoy, possess, own: control, direct, manage, *conduct
Antonyms: relinquish
Contrasted words: *discard, cast, junk: refuse, reject, repudiate, spurn (see DECLINE vb): surrender, abandon, resign, yield (see RELINQUISH)
keep n *living, livelihood, subsistence, sustenance, maintenance, support, bread

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — [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 — 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 — ► 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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