keep back

keep back
phrasal verb
Word forms "keep back":
present tense I/you/we/they keep back he/she/it keeps back present participle keeping back past tense kept back past participle kept back
1) [transitive] to not tell someone something, or to not show how you feel

He said he was fine, but I knew he was keeping something back.

2) [transitive] to keep part of an amount of money that belongs to someone or is owed to them

He kept back £50 for himself.

3) [intransitive/transitive] to not move towards someone or something, or to stop someone from doing this

Police were warning people to keep back.

A barrier had been erected to keep back the crowds.

4) [transitive] to prevent someone from making progress

It's only her lack of confidence that's keeping her back.

5) [transitive] to keep part of something so that you can use it later

Keep back some strawberries for decoration.

6) [transitive] if you keep back laughter or tears, you stop yourself laughing or crying

She struggled to keep back her tears.


English dictionary. 2014.

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