Did you know?

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

keep down - definition and synonyms


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
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to control something and prevent it from increasing in size or number
    We have to try and keep 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.
  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.
  4. 4
    to make a noise less loud
    Keep it down! I’m trying to sleep.
See also main entry: keep


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

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