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

That’s left regulators scrambling to keep up, and a big question mark about what vaping nicotine might mean for the health outcomes of this new generation. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Vaping gone viral: the astonishing surge in teens’ e-cigarette use," 18 Dec. 2018 Getty Images For everyone who follows the royal family simply to keep up with the fairytale romances, the perfect white weddings, and the general magic of it all, consider this your lucky day. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle May Wear a Tiara for the First Time Since the Royal Wedding During Her Tour with Prince Harry," 5 Oct. 2018 The answer to all of these: just enough to keep up with the times. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft launches next-gen Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop, Surface Studio and more," 2 Oct. 2018 Homeownership bounces back slightly, with seniors in the lead Overall homeownership rates have finally turned around, buoyed by low interest rates that help first-time buyers to keep up with their mortgage. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "U.S. housing market continues rebound, despite increased inequality, says Harvard report," 19 June 2018 After spending half a paycheck on color-maintenance products, I wasn't interested in keeping up with a multi-step hair care routine. Glamour, "7 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Going From Blond to Brunette," 30 Mar. 2019 Don’t push yourself further into a stretch for the sake of keeping up with a classmate, or hold a specific pose that hurts just because the instructor said to. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "What Is a Stretch Studio? Here’s What You Need to Know About This Growing Fitness Trend," 24 Feb. 2019 This problem is not new, and as casting agents continue to book more black models and actors, creatives behind the styling chair need to keep up. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Gabrielle Union, Yahya Abdul-Mateen and Other Actors Call Out Stylists Who Can’t Work With Black Hair," 12 Mar. 2019 Alaskan Bush People star Ami Brown and her family have permanently relocated to Washington to keep up with her medical needs. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Alaskan Bush People' Star Ami Brown Opens Up About Her 'Taxing' Cancer Recovery," 10 Mar. 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

17 Apr 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).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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