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 backStudents 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.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
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