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.
Word by Word Definitions
: to retain in one's possession or power
: to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing
: to have in control
: the means or provisions by which one is kept
: one that keeps or protects: such as
: fortress, castle
: some person : somebody
: some indeterminate or unspecified thing
: a person or thing of consequence
: one having more or less the character, qualities, or nature of something different
: in some degree : somewhat
: used as an intensive giving adverbial force to an adjective
: the rear part of the human body especially from the neck to the end of the spine
: the body considered as the wearer of clothes
: capacity for labor, effort, or endurance
: to, toward, or at the rear
: in or into the past : backward in time
: being at or in the back
: distant from a central or main area
: articulated at or toward the back of the oral passage : formed deep within the mouth
: to support by material or moral assistance
: to assume financial responsibility for
Seen and Heard
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).