Did you know?

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

keep up

 - definition
Close

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.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
phrasal verb
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theykeep up
he/she/itkeeps up
present participlekeeping up
past tensekept up
past participlekept up
  1. 1
    [transitive] to continue to do something

    We're on a winning streak – hopefully we can keep it up.

    Keep up the good work.

    The trade unions continued to keep up pressure for higher wages.

    1. a.
      to continue to pretend that something is true

      She tried to appear cheerful but couldn't keep it up.

      His family kept up the pretence that he had been ill.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to move at the same speed as someone or something

    Try to keep up!

    keep up with someone:

    He had to hurry to keep up with her.

    1. a.
      to make progress or learn at the same speed as someone or something

      By studying hard she managed to keep up.

      keep up with someone:

      We always try to keep up with our competitors.

  3. 4
    [intransitive] to continue to understand what someone is saying

    I told you she's my sister, not my girlfriend. Keep up!

    keep up with:

    I found myself unable to keep up with the conversation.

  4. 5
    [transitive] keep someone up to prevent someone from going to bed

    It's late. I'd better not keep you up any longer.

See also main entry: keep

emoji

a small digital image … which is used in electronic communication to express emotion or other simple concepts

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

flop

a complete failure

Open Dictionary

major on (doing) sth

to have or do a lot of something; to focus on a particular thing

add a word

Blog

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