Reading set "Idioms with 'keep' to learn (part 3)" (Number of items 14)

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keep step with

keep step with  {v. phr.}
To maintain the same degree of progress as someone else.
The United States has no choice but to keep step with potential enemies in terms of modern defense systems.

keep tab on

keep tab on or keep tabs on  {v. phr.},  {informal}
1. To keep a record of.
The government tries to keep tabs on all the animals in the park.
2. To keep a watch on; check.
The house mother kept tabs on the girls to be sure they were clean and neat.
Categories:informal verb

keep the ball rolling

keep the ball rolling  {v. phr.},  {informal}
To keep up an activity or action; not allow something that is happening to slow or stop.
Clyde kept the ball rolling at the party by dancing with a lamp shade on his head.
Categories:informal verb

keep the faith

keep the faith  {v. phr.}
To not abandon hope; stay committed to the cause of democracy and racial equality.
"Keep the faith, Baby," my neighbor said as he raised his fingers to show the "V" for victory sign.

keep the home fires burning

To keep things going as usual while someone is away; wait at home to welcome someone back.
While John was in the army, Mary kept the home fires burning.

keep the wolf (wolves) from the door

To avoid hunger, poverty, and/or creditors.
"I don't like my job," Mike complained, "but I must do something to keep the wolves from the door."

keep things humming

keep things humming  {v. phr.}
To cause thing to perform smoothly and efficiently.
Until Mr. Long joined our computer center, we had all sorts of problems, but he has corrected them and really keeps things humming.

keep time

illustration for section: keep time
keep time  {v. phr.}
1. To show the right time.
My watch has not kept good time since I dropped it.
2. To keep the beat; keep the same rhythm; keep in step.
Many people are surprised at how well deaf people keep time with the music when they dance.
Categories:music time verb

keep track

keep track  {v. phr.}
To know about changes; stay informed or up-to-date; keep a count or record.
What day of the week is it? I can't keep track.
- Usually used with "of".
Mr. Stevens kept track of his business by telephone when he was in the hospital.
The farmer has so many chickens, he can hardly keep track of them all.
Compare: IN TOUCH, KEEP UP (3).
Contrast: LOSE TRACK.

keep under one's hat

keep under one's hat  {v. phr.},  {informal}
To keep secret; not tell.
Mr. Jones knew who had won the contest, but he kept it under his hat until it was announced publicly.
- Often used as a command.
Keep it under your hat.
Categories:informal verb

keep up

keep up  {v.}
1a. To go on; not stop; continue.
The rain kept up for two days and the roads were flooded.
Compare: KEEP ON.
1b. To go on with (something); continue steadily; never stop.
Mrs. Smith told John to keep up the good work.
The teacher asked Dick to stop bothering Mary, but he kept it up.
Compare: KEEP AT.
2a. To go at the same rate as others.
John had to work hard to keep up.
Billy was the youngest boy on the hike, but he kept up with the others.
2b. To keep (something) at the same level or rate or in good condition.
The shortage of tomatoes kept the prices up.
Grandfather was too poor to keep up his house.
3. To keep informed. — Usually used with "on" or "with".
Mary is interested in politics and always keeps up with the news.
Compare: KEEP TRACK.
Categories:bother verb

keep up appearances

keep up appearances  {v. phr.}
To maintain an outward show of prosperity in spite of financial problems.
Mr. Smith's widow had a hard time keeping up appearances after her husband's death.
Categories:death time verb

keep up with the Joneses

To follow the latest fashion; try to be equal with your neighbors.
Mrs. Smith kept buying every new thing that was advertised, finally Mr. Smith told her to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses and to start thinking for herself.

keep watch

keep watch  {v. phr.}
To be vigilant; be alert; guard.
The police have asked the neighborhood to keep watch against an escaped convict.