keep to oneself


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keep to (something or oneself)

1. To adhere to something, such as a plan or a rule; to stick to something. Please keep to the plan, and everything will go smoothly. How can I trust you if you never keep to your promises?
2. To stay somewhere or to not go away or far from somewhere, typically because of some restriction. Keep the front yard, kids—I don't want to see you running in the street. The princess hated that she always had to keep to the castle.
3. To refrain from attempting to communicate or make connections with others. If you want to make friends, you can't keep to yourself all the time. Start meeting people! The old man down the streets always keeps to himself. I just realized I don't even know his name.
See also: keep

keep something to oneself

to keep something a secret. I want you to keep this news to yourself. This should be kept to yourself.
See also: keep

keep to oneself

to be solitary; to stay away from other people. Ann tends to keep to herself. She doesn't have many friends. I try to keep to myself each morning so I can get some work done.
See also: keep

keep to oneself

1. Also, keep oneself to oneself. Shun the company of others, value one's privacy, as in She kept to herself all morning, or, as Doris Lessing put it in In Pursuit of the English (1960): "She keeps herself to herself so much." [Late 1600s]
2. Refrain from revealing, hold secret, as in He promised to keep the news to himself. Also see the synonym keep under one's hat.
See also: keep