keep up appearances

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of keep up appearances

:to hide something bad by pretending that nothing is wrong
  • Although we were getting a divorce, my parents thought it was important to keep up appearances.

Word by Word Definitions

keep play
  1. : to retain in one's possession or power

  2. : to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing

  3. : to have in control

  1. : the means or provisions by which one is kept

  2. : one that keeps or protects: such as

  3. : fortress, castle

up play
  1. : in or into a higher position or level

  2. : from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  3. : from below the horizon

  1. : risen above the horizon

  2. : standing

  3. : being out of bed

  1. used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

  2. : up into or in the

  3. : in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. : one in a high or advantageous position

  2. : an upward slope

  3. : a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. : to rise from a lying or sitting position

  2. : to move upward : ascend

  3. used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated

appearance play appearances
  1. : external show : semblance

  2. : outward aspect : look

  3. : outward indication


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