keep (someone or something) on (their or its) feet

keep (someone or something) on (their or its) feet

1. Literally, to cause someone to remain standing or continue walking. It was a very interesting tour, but it kept us on our feet for nearly six hours. I won't keep you on your feet for any longer. Please make your way to the reception area and take a seat.
2. To give one the means of remaining awake or active. Thank you for bringing us this coffee. It will keep us on our feet for the rest of the morning. It was a long, aggravating process, but knowing that I would see my daughter again soon kept me on my feet.
3. To ensure that something remains operational, stable, or capable of success. We've done everything in our power to keep this program on its feet, but it is simply not economically viable any longer. My father's business has been kept on its feet by the local community for nearly 30 years.
See also: feet, keep, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

keep something on its feet

Fig. to keep something stable and viable. It takes a lot of effort to keep this old firm on its feet. We may have to go out of business. Can we keep this business on its feet another year?
See also: feet, keep, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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