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keep down

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phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theykeep down
he/she/itkeeps down
present participlekeeping down
past tensekept down
past participlekept down
  1. 1
    to control something and prevent it from increasing in size or number

    We have to try and keep our costs down.

    The cats help to keep down the rats.

  2. 2
    to stop someone from achieving what they are capable of achieving

    Even if you're intelligent, they still try to keep you down.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of keep down
  3. 3
    to succeed in keeping food in your stomach although you feel as if you want to vomit

    I'd eat something if I thought I could keep it down.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of keep down
  4. 4
    to make a noise less loud

    Keep it down! I'm trying to sleep.

  5. 5
    to control people in such a strict or cruel way that they have very little freedom or very few rights

    These immigrants were kept down for decades.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of keep down
See also main entry: keep

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