keep it up


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keep up

1. Literally, to physically hold something up. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is sometimes used between "keep" and "up." Do you think these pushpins will keep up the posterboard? Hopefully these braces will keep the structure up until we can come up with a more permanent solution.
2. To prevent someone from sleeping with making noise, distracting them, etc. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is often used between "keep" and "up." Please stop shouting! You'll keep up your mother, and she has an early day tomorrow. No, I don't mind if you read with the light one—it won't keep me up. Thinking about all the problems in the world keeps me up at night sometimes.
3. To maintain or adhere to an agreement. How can I trust you if you never keep up your end of the bargain?
4. To maintain something to an expected or acceptable level. Keeping up the exterior of the house has been a lot more work than I expected. Were you able to keep up your garden this year? I'd like to keep up my painting, but it's tough with two young kids.
5. To move or progress at the same rate as others. My leg was hurt, but I was able to keep up with the rest of the team during our run. Keeping up with the go-getters in this office is a real challenge, but I think you're up to it. You can follow me if you want, but try to keep up.
6. To continue doing something in the way one has been doing it. This usage is often used as an imperative, especially in the phrases "keep it up" and "keep up the good work." Wow, these look great. Keep up the good work, James! I can't continue working these long hours. If I keep it up, I'll get burned out. If you keep this up, you're going to get expelled.
7. To stay informed about something or in touch with someone with following the latest developments or communicating regularly. It's so hard to keep up with the news these days, especially when a huge story breaks every day. Have you been keeping up with your cousins? What's Mary Kate up to these days?
See also: keep, up

keep it up

Continue to do or maintain something, as in They were playing loud music, and they kept it up all night long. [Mid-1700s] Also see keep up, def. 4.
See also: keep, up

ˌkeep it ˈup

used to tell somebody to continue doing something as well as they are already doing it: They’ve done well so far. I just wonder how long they can keep it up.
See also: keep, up