keel

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even keel

1. adjective Calm and stable. I know this is a stressful time, but we need to try keep things as even keel as possible.
2. noun A calm and stable situation. The phrase alludes to a ship's keel, a supporting structure that helps to keep the ship stable in the water (and thus needs to be "even" or level). Whoa, let's all stop yelling and try to get back on an even keel!
See also: even, keel

keel over

[for a person] to fall over or fall down in a faint or in death. It was so hot in the room that two people just keeled over.
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keel something over

Rur. to push something over. He leaned on the flimsy wall and keeled it right over. The high wind keeled over that sorry old fence.
See also: keel

keep on an even keel

Fig. to remain cool and calm. (Originally nautical.) If Jane can keep on an even keel and not panic, she will be all right. Try to keep on an even keel and not get upset so easily.
See also: even, keel, keep, on

keep something on an even keel

Fig. to keep something in a steady and untroubled state. The manager cannot keep the firm on an even keel any longer. When the workers are unhappy, it is difficult to keep the factory on an even keel.
See also: even, keel, keep, on

keel over

Collapse, as if in a faint; also, faint. For example, When she heard the awful news, she keeled over. This term alludes to a vessel rolling on its keel and capsizing. [Mid-1800s]
See also: keel

on an even keel

Stable, balanced, as in She had the knack of keeping us on an even keel in any emergency. This term, used figuratively since the mid-1800s, alludes to keeping a vessel's keel in a level position, assuring smooth sailing.
See also: even, keel, on

on an even keel

COMMON If someone or something is on an even keel, they are calm and not changing much, especially during a period of difficulties. She sees it as her role to keep the family on an even keel through its time of hardship. You may begin to wonder if having a baby was the right thing to do and whether you'll ever get back on an even keel. Note: The image here is of a ship moving along smoothly and steadily, because it is balanced and not leaning to either side.
See also: even, keel, on

keel over

v.
1. To fall over; capsize: The ship keeled over when it hit the iceberg.
2. To collapse or fall into or as if into a faint: I keeled over when I heard the bad news.
See also: keel

on an even keel

In a stable or unimpaired state: "There was good reason to keep relations with Washington on an even keel" (Helen Kitchen).
See also: even, keel, on