keep (someone or something) back


Definition of keep (someone or something) back

1 : to not allow (someone) to go near something The police kept the spectators back.
2 US : to not allow (a student) to advance to the next grade level usually used as (be) kept back Students who fail the exam may be kept back a year.
3 British : to require (a student) to stay at school after classes have ended She was kept back for talking in class.
4 : to not allow (something) to appear or be known He struggled to keep back his tears. The government kept back some crucial information from the media.

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Dictionary Entries Near keep (someone or something) back

keep (someone or something) at arm's length

keep (someone or something) back

keep (someone or something) going

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Cite this Entry

“Keep (someone or something) back.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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