keep (one's) distance

(redirected from keep their distance)

keep (one's) distance

1. To maintain physical distance between oneself and someone or something. Keep your distance, everyone. There is a downed wire here. He better keep his distance from that bear.
2. To limit engagement or association (or the appearance thereof) between oneself and someone or something. Politicians have been quick to keep their distance from the senator ever since news of her scandal broke.
See also: distance, keep

keep one's distance (from someone or something)

Fig. to maintain a respectful or cautious distance from someone or something. Keep your distance from John. He's in a bad mood. Keep your distance from the fire.
See also: distance, keep

keep one's distance

Stay away; also, remain emotionally remote. For example, It's wise to keep one's distance from any wild animal, or Since the family argued with him, Harry's been keeping his distance. [Late 1500s]
See also: distance, keep

keep your ˈdistance (from somebody/something)


keep somebody/something at a ˈdistance

not be too friendly or familiar with somebody/something: She tends to keep her distance from her neighbours, so none of them know her very well.
See also: distance, keep
References in classic literature ?
They are very often amazingly impertinent if you do not treat them with spirit, and make them keep their distance.
As long as you look unsuspecting they'll keep their distance, and so long as they keep their distance you stand a chance.
Anyone spotting a seal they think might be stranded or in distress should keep their distance, says Terry.
STEER CLEAR Bressie and Roz Purcell keep their distance at wedding yesterday which was also attended by Pippa O'Connor, Keith Duffy and Brian Ormond
The Armed Forces, fully aware of what going on in the domestic affairs, keep their distance (from the conflicting parties).
Some workers said they purposely avoided meeting directly as they wanted to keep their distance from colleagues or clients to avoid awkward questions and also reduce chances of being forced to take on more work.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "Drivers who don't keep their distance increase the risk of pile-ups - we are appealing to the Government to ditch proposals to raise the limit".
There is no reason to be concerned about this, as long as people keep their distance and the animal appears healthy and is acting normally.
soldiers, will have to keep their distance from those mourning the deceased, thanks to a new law signed by Illinois governor Pat Quinn.
The mainland sees the island as part of its territory and frequently uses its growing international clout to pressure other countries to keep their distance from Taipei.
But several employees, despite Kyle being armed, followed him out onto the street, shouting to passersby that he was armed, so keep their distance, but keep him in sight
The 33-year-old captain, left, says they will be polite - but will keep their distance from their opponents during the five-Test battle.
Salehi apparently did not mention that it is an international courtesy for all ships to keep their distance from ongoing military maneuvers, not to mention a matter of safety.
Legislators will now be able to keep their distance from the term-limits reform as their proxies -- the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Teachers Association -- do the heavy lifting.
A series of high-profile visits is being planned in the run-up to the May poll intended to scotch any idea that First Minister Rhodri Morgan, who has had his differences with Labour in London, wants Westminster figures to keep their distance.
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