American English

Definition of keep noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] food, clothes, and all the other things that a person needs to live; the cost of these things It's about time you got a job to earn your keep.
  2. 2[countable] a large strong tower, built as part of an old castle
  3. Idioms
      earn your keep
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    1. 1to do useful or helpful things in return for being allowed to live or stay somewhere
    2. 2to be worth the amount of time or money that is being spent He felt he no longer deserved such a high salary. He just wasn't earning his keep.
    for keeps (informal)
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    forever Is it yours for keeps or does he want it back?
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: keep