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.

Comments on keep (someone or something) back

What made you want to look up keep (someone or something) back? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!