keep back


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Related to keep back: keep up

keep someone back

 and hold someone back 
1. Lit. to restrain people from moving forward or getting in the way. The police were ordered to keep people back so they wouldn't interfere with the paramedics.
2. Fig. to keep a child in the same grade for an extra year. We asked them to keep John back a year. John was kept back a year in school.
3. Fig. to keep someone from advancing in life. I think that your limited vocabulary is keeping you back. Her lack of computer skills kept her back in her career.
See also: back, keep

keep someone or something back

to hold someone or something in reserve. Keep back some of the food for an emergency. We are keeping Karen back until the other players have exhausted themselves.
See also: back, keep

keep (someone, something, or an animal) back (from someone or something)

to make someone, something, or an animal stay in a position away from someone or something. Keep everyone back from the injured lady. Please keep the dogs back from the turtle.
See also: back, keep

keep back

v.
1. To remain out of the way: The spectators at the film shoot kept back. Passengers are requested to keep back behind the yellow line.
2. To cause someone or something to remain out of the way: The police kept the onlookers back so that the paramedics could do their job. The fine mesh kept back the debris.
3. To fail to advance someone to the next grade or class of school; flunk: The teacher kept three struggling students back. A tutor helped each student who was kept back.
See also: back, keep
References in periodicals archive ?
To put the load down, bend knees, keep back straight.
Relatives and friends must keep back and use chairs in a bid to cut the risk of spreading the superbug MRSA.
A Tesco spokesman said: "They're big guys and they don't mess around, but they're under strict orders to keep back.
Police had to keep back panicking parents as rescuers struggled to reach the trapped children, aged seven to 12.
Other people were quickly on the scene but decided to keep back and wait for the emergency services to arrive.
It also helps to keep back lanes free of rubbish and prevent behaviour such as graffiti and youth annoyance.
Paul Nicholls had planned to keep back the two-mile champion for the Tingle Creek at Sandown in December.
But when schools keep back huge sums it detracts from the argument that schools need more funding.