keep (someone or something) back

idiom

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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