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keep up - definition and synonyms

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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.

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
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 streakhopefully we can keep it up.

    Keep up the good work.

    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. 3
    [intransitive] to continue to learn about something or find out about something, so that you know the latest things that are happening
    keep up with:

    We try to keep up with what’s happening.

  4. 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.

  5. 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
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