keep up

kept up; keeping up; keeps up

Definition of keep up

transitive verb

: to persist or persevere in kept up the good work also : maintain, sustain keep standards up

intransitive verb

1 : to keep adequately informed or up-to-date keep up on international affairs
2 : to continue without interruption rain kept up all night
3 : to maintain contact or relations with someone keep up with old friends

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Synonyms & Antonyms for keep up


hold out, hold up, last, prevail, survive


fail, fizzle, give out, go out, peter (out), run out

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Examples of keep up in a Sentence

let's hope that old air conditioner keeps up through this heat wave kept the house up while the owners were gone

Recent Examples on the Web

One by one, paramedics carted four gurneys south on Paulina as a throng of residents stood on the street corner, their heads swiveling to keep up with the victims being loaded into ambulances. Alice Yin,, "Multiple victims the norm in shootings Saturday into Sunday as holiday weekend wears on," 7 July 2019 One fell after hanging a banner; at least one other, in an apparent suicide, left a message on a wall asking others to keep up the fight. Washington Post, "Protesters say storming of legislature born of desperation," 6 July 2019 Macsherry said fewer families have been taking advantage of the state credit as its limits have failed to keep up with inflation and rising costs. Scott Dance,, "Among new Maryland laws effective Monday: Help for parents paying thousands of dollars for child care," 1 July 2019 This probably stems from a natural evolution: the cast has aged (on screen and off), and the show needs to keep up. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Stranger Things without Spoiler Things: It’s dark, different, and still delightful," 1 July 2019 But in the past decade, the clinics were unable to keep up with the state's stringent and perpetually evolving requirements, with some closing and then reopening again and then shuttering for good. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, "Missouri's only abortion clinic gets another extension, will remain open until August," 28 June 2019 Bain said that with the amount of rain that has fallen in recent weeks, the ground is saturated and the sewer system is sometimes not able to keep up with the flow., "Pepper Pike," 27 June 2019 According to Alisha Renfro, coastal scientist with the National Wildlife Federation, Louisiana would need to capture and retain more than half of the reduced sediment flows to keep up with the state’s current rate of land loss. Tristan Baurick,, "Dredging, dams and other river controls starve places downriver of much-needed sediment," 15 June 2019 After all, dogs are family, so eligible bachelorettes will have to keep up with him and his little dogs Gracie and Stewie. Literally! Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Jonathan Scott's Ideal Soulmate Is Basically Diane Lane in Must Love Dogs," 3 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'keep up.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of keep up

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for keep up

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for keep up

The first known use of keep up was in the 15th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on keep up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with keep up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for keep up

Nglish: Translation of keep up for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of keep up for Arabic Speakers

Comments on keep up

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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