Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

keep down

 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
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


web content which is specifically intended to make Facebook users click the 'Like' button associated with it

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog