keep 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

At a hearing Friday in San Diego federal court, the judge overseeing the process commended the government on its progress so far while urging officials to keep up the pace. Kartikay Mehrotra,, "Reunited immigrant families face difficult choice: try to stay legally or leave children in the US," 14 July 2018 Despite this, the supply of new and affordable housing in Melbourne has struggled to keep up with demand. Michael Taylor, The Christian Science Monitor, "Won't you be my neighbor: Melbourne experiments with community-led housing," 11 July 2018 The chain has struggled to keep up with a changing marketplace. Jaewon Kang And Dawn Lim, WSJ, "Tim Hortons Tests China’s Appetite for Canadian Coffee," 11 July 2018 Such was the situation in Thailand for several long weeks, and America breathlessly kept up with the story via round-the-clock media coverage. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Thai Cave Rescue Cannot Save Us From National Shame," 11 July 2018 The Washington Post over the weekend reported that Twitter had more than doubled the pace of its bot-policing efforts since October 2017, axing 70 million accounts in May and June and keeping up that rate in July. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Twitter’s wiping tens of millions of accounts from its platform," 11 July 2018 Many institutions of higher learning are struggling to keep up with the demand. New York Times, "Preventing Suicide Among College Students," 2 July 2018 Others talked about how businesses absorb the increase, instead of passing the cost along to consumers, as shops struggle to keep up with black market prices. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Marijuana tax increase fails at Anchorage assembly," 29 June 2018 At this new, faster pace, Robert struggled to keep up. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "Father and son risk their lives crossing Antarctica to save the planet," 14 June 2018

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

18 Sep 2018

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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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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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