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Retain vs. Keep — What's the Difference?

Retain vs. Keep — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Retain and Keep

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Retain

To keep possession of; continue to have
The family sold the house but retained the land.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

A keep (from the Middle English kype) is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated the scope of the word keep, but usually consider it to refer to large towers in castles that were fortified residences, used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the castle fall to an adversary.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To keep in a particular place or condition
A library that retains the author's papers.
Plants that retain a lot of water.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To retain possession of
Kept the change.
Must keep your composure.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To continue to have as a feature or aspect
Retains his good humor after all the setbacks.
Nov 03, 2021
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Keep

To have as a supply
Keep spare parts in case of emergency.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To keep in mind; remember
Retains the songs she learned in childhood.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To provide (a family, for example) with maintenance and support
"There's little to earn and many to keep" (Charles Kingsley).
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To require (a student) to repeat a class or grade because of insufficient educational progress to advance.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To support (a mistress or lover) financially.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To keep in one's service or pay
Retain employees on a workforce.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To put customarily; store
Where do you keep your saw?.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To hire (an attorney, for example) by the payment of a fee.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To supply with room and board for a charge
Keep boarders.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To hire a person for (that person's services)
Retained the best legal advice available.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To raise
Keep chickens.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

(transitive) To keep in possession or use.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To maintain for use or service
An urbanite who didn't keep a car.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

(transitive) To keep in one's pay or service.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To manage, tend, or have charge of
Keep the shop while I'm away.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

(transitive) To employ by paying a retainer.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To preserve (food).
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

(transitive) To hold secure.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To cause to continue in a state, condition, or course of action
Tried to keep the patient calm.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To hold back (a pupil) instead of allowing them to advance to the next class or year.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To maintain records or entries in
Keep a yearly diary.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

(obsolete) To restrain; to prevent.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To enter (data) in a book
Keep financial records.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To belong; to pertain.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To detain
Was kept after school.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To continue to hold; to keep in possession; not to lose, part with, or dismiss; to restrain from departure, escape, or the like.
Be obedient, and retainUnalterably firm his love entire.
An executor may retain a debt due to him from the testator.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To restrain
Kept the child away from the stove.
Kept the crowd back with barriers.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To keep in pay; to employ by a preliminary fee paid; to hire; to engage; as, to retain a counselor.
A Benedictine convent has now retained the most learned father of their order to write in its defense.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To prevent or deter
Tried to keep the ice from melting.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To restrain; to prevent.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To refrain from divulging
Keep a secret.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To belong; to pertain.
A somewhat languid relish, retaining to bitterness.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To save; reserve
Keep extra money for emergencies.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

To keep; to continue; to remain.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To adhere or conform to; follow
Keep late hours.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

Hold within;
This soil retains water
I retain this drug for a long time
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To be faithful to; fulfill
Keep one's word.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

Allow to remain in a place or position;
We cannot continue several servants any longer
She retains a lawyer
The family's fortune waned and they could not keep their household staff
Our grant has run out and we cannot keep you on
We kept the work going as long as we could
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To celebrate; observe
Keep the Sabbath.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

Secure and keep for possible future use or application;
The landlord retained the security deposit
I reserve the right to disagree
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To remain in a state or condition; stay
Keep in line.
Keep quiet.
Kept well.
Nov 03, 2021

Retain

Keep in one's mind;
I cannot retain so much information
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To continue to do
Keep on talking.
Keep guessing.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To remain fresh or unspoiled
The dessert won't keep.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To restrain oneself; hold oneself back
I couldn't keep from eavesdropping.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Care; charge
The child is in my keep for the day.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

The means by which one is supported
Earn one's keep.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

The stronghold of a castle.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

A jail.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To continue in (a course or mode of action); to not intermit or fall from; to uphold or maintain.
To keep silence;
To keep possession
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To remain faithful to a given promise or word.
To keep one's word;
To keep one's promise
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(transitive) To hold the status of something.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To maintain possession of.
I keep a small stock of painkillers for emergencies.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To maintain the condition of; to preserve in a certain state.
I keep my specimens under glass to protect them.
The abundance of squirrels kept the dogs running for hours.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(transitive) To record transactions, accounts, or events in.
I used to keep a diary.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(transitive) To enter (accounts, records, etc.) in a book.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(archaic) To remain in; to be confined to.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To restrain.
I keep my pet gerbil away from my brother.
Don't let me keep you; I know you have things to be doing.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(with from) To watch over, look after, guard, protect.
May the Lord keep you from harm.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To supply with necessities and financially support (a person).
He kept a mistress for over ten years.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(of living things) To raise; to care for.
He has been keeping orchids since retiring.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To refrain from freely disclosing (a secret).
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To maintain (an establishment or institution); to conduct; to manage.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To have habitually in stock for sale.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(intransitive) To hold or be held in a state.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(obsolete) To reside for a time; to lodge; to dwell.
She kept to her bed while the fever lasted.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To continue.
I keep taking the tablets, but to no avail.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To remain edible or otherwise usable.
Potatoes can keep if they are in a root cellar.
Latex paint won't keep indefinitely.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(copulative) To remain in a state.
The rabbit avoided detection by keeping still.
Keep calm! There's no need to panic.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(obsolete) To wait for, keep watch for.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To act as wicket-keeper.
Godfrey Evans kept for England for many years.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To take care; to be solicitous; to watch.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To be in session; to take place.
School keeps today.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(transitive) To observe; to adhere to; to fulfill; to not swerve from or violate.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To visit (a place) often; to frequent.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To observe or celebrate (a holiday).
The feast of St. Stephen is kept on December 26.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(historical) The main tower of a castle or fortress, located within the castle walls.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

The food or money required to keep someone alive and healthy; one's support, maintenance.
He works as a cobbler's apprentice for his keep.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(obsolete) The act or office of keeping; custody; guard; care; heed; charge; notice.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

The state of being kept; hence, the resulting condition; case.
To be in good keep
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(obsolete) That which is kept in charge; a charge.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

(engineering) A cap for holding something, such as a journal box, in place.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To care; to desire.
I kepe not of armes for to yelp [boast].
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To hold; to restrain from departure or removal; not to let go of; to retain in one's power or possession; not to lose; to retain; to detain.
If we lose the field,We can not keep the town.
That I may know what keeps me here with you.
If we would weigh and keep in our minds what we are considering, that would instruct us.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To cause to remain in a given situation or condition; to maintain unchanged; to hold or preserve in any state or tenor.
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal.
Keep a stiff rein, and move but gently on.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To have in custody; to have in some place for preservation; to take charge of.
The crown of Stephanus, first king of Hungary, was always kept in the castle of Vicegrade.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To preserve from danger, harm, or loss; to guard.
Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To preserve from discovery or publicity; not to communicate, reveal, or betray, as a secret.
Great are thy virtues . . . though kept from man.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To attend upon; to have the care of; to tend.
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it.
In her girlish age, she kept sheep on the moor.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To record transactions, accounts, or events in; as, to keep books, a journal, etc.; also, to enter (as accounts, records, etc. ) in a book.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To maintain, as an establishment, institution, or the like; to conduct; to manage; as, to keep store.
Like a pedant that keeps a school.
Every one of them kept house by himself.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To supply with necessaries of life; to entertain; as, to keep boarders.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To have in one's service; to have and maintain, as an assistant, a servant, a mistress, a horse, etc.
I keep but three men and a boy.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To have habitually in stock for sale.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To continue in, as a course or mode of action; not to intermit or fall from; to hold to; to maintain; as, to keep silence; to keep one's word; to keep possession.
Both day and night did we keep company.
Within this portal as I kept my watch.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To observe; to adhere to; to fulfill; not to swerve from or violate; to practice or perform, as duty; not to neglect; to be faithful to.
I have kept the faith.
Him whom to love is to obey, and keepHis great command.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To confine one's self to; not to quit; to remain in; as, to keep one's house, room, bed, etc.; hence, to haunt; to frequent.
'Tis hallowed ground;Fairies, and fawns, and satyrs do it keep.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To observe duly, as a festival, etc.; to celebrate; to solemnize; as, to keep a feast.
I went with them to the house of God . . . with a multitude that kept holyday.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To remain in any position or state; to continue; to abide; to stay; as, to keep at a distance; to keep aloft; to keep near; to keep in the house; to keep before or behind; to keep in favor; to keep out of company, or out reach.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To last; to endure; to remain unimpaired.
If the malt be not thoroughly dried, the ale it makes will not keep.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To reside for a time; to lodge; to dwell.
Knock at his study, where, they say, he keeps.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To take care; to be solicitous; to watch.
Keep that the lusts choke not the word of God that is in us.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

To be in session; as, school keeps to-day.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

The act or office of keeping; custody; guard; care; heed; charge.
Pan, thou god of shepherds all,Which of our tender lambkins takest keep.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

The state of being kept; hence, the resulting condition; case; as, to be in good keep.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

The means or provisions by which one is kept; maintenance; support; as, the keep of a horse.
Grass equal to the keep of seven cows.
I performed some services to the college in return for my keep.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

That which keeps or protects; a stronghold; a fortress; a castle; specifically, the strongest and securest part of a castle, often used as a place of residence by the lord of the castle, especially during a siege; the dungeon. See Illust. of Castle.
The prison strong,Within whose keep the captive knights were laid.
The lower chambers of those gloomy keeps.
I think . . . the keep, or principal part of a castle, was so called because the lord and his domestic circle kept, abode, or lived there.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

That which is kept in charge; a charge.
Often he used of his keepA sacrifice to bring.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

A cap for retaining anything, as a journal box, in place.
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

The financial means whereby one lives;
Each child was expected to pay for their keep
He applied to the state for support
He could no longer earn his own livelihood
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

The main tower within the walls of a medieval castle or fortress
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

A cell in a jail or prison
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Keep in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g.,
Keep clean
Hold in place
She always held herself as a lady
The students keep me on my toes
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Continue a certain state, condition, or activity;
Keep on working!
We continued to work into the night
Keep smiling
We went on working until well past midnight
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Retain possession of;
Can I keep my old stuffed animals?
She kept her maiden name after she married
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Prevent from doing something or being in a certain state;
We must prevent the cancer from spreading
His snoring kept me from falling asleep
Keep the child from eating the marbles
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Conform one's action or practice to;
Keep appointments
She never keeps her promises
We kept to the original conditions of the contract
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Observe correctly or closely;
The pianist kept time with the metronome
Keep count
I cannot keep track of all my employees
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Look after; be the keeper of; have charge of;
He keeps the shop when I am gone
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Maintain by writing regular records;
Keep a diary
Maintain a record
Keep notes
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Supply with room and board;
He is keeping three women in the guest cottage
Keep boarders
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Allow to remain in a place or position;
We cannot continue several servants any longer
She retains a lawyer
The family's fortune waned and they could not keep their household staff
Our grant has run out and we cannot keep you on
We kept the work going as long as we could
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Supply with necessities and support;
She alone sustained her family
The money will sustain our good cause
There's little to earn and many to keep
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Fail to spoil or rot;
These potatoes keep for a long time
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Celebrate, as of holidays or rites;
Keep the commandments
Celebrate Christmas
Observe Yom Kippur
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Keep under control; keep in check;
Suppress a smile
Keep your temper
Keep your cool
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Maintain in safety from injury, harm, or danger;
May God keep you
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Raise;
She keeps a few chickens in the yard
He keeps bees
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Retain rights to;
Keep my job for me while I give birth
Keep my seat, please
Keep open the possibility of a merger
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Store or keep customarily;
Where do you keep your gardening tools?
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Have as a supply;
I always keep batteries in the freezer
Keep food for a week in the pantry
She keeps a sixpack and a week's worth of supplies in the refrigerator
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Maintain for use and service;
I keep a car in the countryside
She keeps an apartment in Paris for her shopping trips
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Hold and prevent from leaving;
The student was kept after school
Nov 03, 2021

Keep

Prevent (food) from rotting;
Preserved meats
Keep potatoes fresh
Nov 03, 2021

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