Like a lot of schools, we let in more early-decision applicants than usual to keep down our financial-aid commitments.
We did it to keep down trouble, and to keep our hearts from being completely broken; that is as true as the gospel!
We can keep down behind the shelter of the pile, till we have got most of them out.
The floor of the plant had recently been oiled to keep down dust.
And over all, through open skylight and companionway, poured floods of brine to keep down the dust.
But I'm fightin' hard to keep down my old salt-water temper.
The syringe, when used frequently, is useful for the same purpose, and to keep down insects.
All the pumps in the ship would not keep down such a leak as this.
Aileen bit her lower lip and clenched her hands to keep down her rage and disappointment and tears.
It is to deafen, to keep down in some measure, the clamors of his bad conscience.
late Old English cepan "to seize, hold," also "to observe," from Proto-Germanic *kopijanan, but with no certain connection to other languages. It possibly is related to Old English capian "to look," from Proto-Germanic *kap- (cepan was used c.1000 to render Latin observare), which would make the basic sense "to keep an eye on."
The word prob. belongs primarily to the vulgar and non-literary stratum of the language; but it comes up suddenly into literary use c.1000, and that in many senses, indicating considerable previous development. [OED]Sense of "preserve, maintain" is from mid-14c. Meaning "to maintain in proper order" is from 1550s; meaning "financially support and privately control" (usually in reference to mistresses) is from 1540s. Related: Kept; keeping.
mid-13c., "care or heed in watching," from keep (v.). Meaning "innermost stronghold of a tower" is from 1580s, perhaps a translation of Italian tenazza, with a notion of "that which keeps" (someone or something); the sense of "food required to keep a person or animal" is attested from 1801. For keeps "completely, for good" is American English colloquial, from 1861.