keep from doing

keep from (doing something)

1. To resist, refrain from, or avoid doing something. I know I shouldn't spend my money so frivolously, but I just can't keep from buying these fancy gadgets. She felt guilty that she had kept from telling him the truth of the matter.
2. To prevent or dissuade someone or some group from doing something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "keep" and "from." My parents tried to keep me from seeing Jeremy, so we decided to elope to Alaska. These regulations are in place to keep large companies from exploiting their employees.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

keep someone or something from doing something

to prevent someone or something from doing something. Would you please keep your dog from digging in my garden? Her lack of a degree kept her from advancing.
See also: keep

keep someone from doing something

to prevent someone from doing something. til I kept the child from falling in the lake by grabbing his collar. I try to keep myself from overeating, but I seem to fail frequently.
See also: keep
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Try as I might to keep from doing it, my mind told me I was to do it now.
What kind of unethical slime would need policing by rule to keep from doing it?