keep (one's) hand in (something)

keep (one's) hand in (something)

1. To remain involved in something, often in a minor role or capacity. Joe insists on keeping his hand in the company, even though he has no real authority at this point.
2. To continue to do something in order to maintain a particular skill or ability. I've mostly stopped acting, but I will do a play occasionally, just to keep my hand in.
See also: hand, keep

keep one's hand in (something)

Fig. to remain involved in something, perhaps only a token involvement. I want to keep my hand in things even after I retire. I always have to keep my hand in so I will feel a part of things.
See also: hand, keep

keep one's hand in

see under have a hand in.
See also: hand, keep

keep your hand in

If you keep your hand in, you use skills which you have developed in the past, so that you do not lose them. I had to wait two years before I was offered another part, and just to keep my hand in, I went on tour with a play that wasn't very good. Words — written words — were what mattered to him, and he kept his hand in writing books and magazine articles.
See also: hand, keep

keep your ˈhand in

practise a skill occasionally, so that you do not lose it: The director likes to teach a class occasionally, just to keep her hand in.
See also: hand, keep
References in classic literature ?
But soon even these intervals of consciousness ended, and she lay hour after hour, tossing to and fro, with incoherent words on her lips, or sank into a heavy sleep which brought her no refreshment.
The grey beard he later wore had not yet ap- peared, but on the upper lip grew a brown mustache.
I can see them now, exactly as they looked, working about the table in the lamplight: Jake with his heavy features, so rudely moulded that his face seemed, somehow, unfinished; Otto with his half-ear and the savage scar that made his upper lip curl so ferociously under his twisted moustache.
There were a few freckles on her face, and a small, dark mole near the under lip and one on the temple, half-hidden in her hair.
After a last look at Uncas, Cora turne,d and with a quivering lip, addressed herself to Heyward:
Unfortunately (without design, or only with such instinctive design as gives no account of itself to the intellect) Phoebe, just at the critical moment, drew back; so that her highly respectable kinsman, with his body bent over the counter and his lips protruded, was betrayed into the rather absurd predicament of kissing the empty air.
His great lips present a cable-like aspect, formed by the intertwisting, slanting folds of large wrinkles.
Over this lip, as over a slippery threshold, we now slide into the mouth.
But round in the background there were a number of poor things, sadly broken down with hard work, with their knees knuckling over and their hind legs swinging out at every step, and there were some very dejected-looking old horses, with the under lip hanging down and the ears lying back heavily, as if there were no more pleasure in life, and no more hope; there were some so thin you might see all their ribs, and some with old sores on their backs and hips.
Well, good-by, Uncle Tom; keep a stiff upper lip," said George.
He had on his head a conical steel casque that only came down to his ears, and for visor had only a narrow steel bar that extended down to his upper lip and protected his nose; and all the rest of him, from neck to heel, was flexible chain mail, trousers and all.
Wilson bit his lip, but answered, "No--not yet," with as much indifference as he could assume.
He surveyed the prize; walked around it; smelt at it from a safe distance; walked around it again; grew bolder, and took a closer smell; then lifted his lip and made a gingerly snatch at it, just missing it; made another, and another; began to enjoy the diversion; subsided to his stomach with the beetle between his paws, and continued his experiments; grew weary at last, and then indifferent and absent-minded.
When I'm restless, or worried, or thinking hard, I draw capital V's on my cheek or on my under lip or under my chin, and never anything BUT capital V's--and half the time I don't notice it and don't know I'm doing it.
Abner himself avowed his complete innocence, and told the neighbors how a red-haired man with a hare lip and a pepper-and- salt suit of clothes had called him up one morning about daylight and offered to swap him a good sleigh for an old cider press he had layin' out in the dooryard.
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