keep in check

Also found in: Legal.

keep someone or something in check

 and hold someone or something in check
to keep someone or something under control; to restrain someone or something. Hang on to this rope to keep the dog in check. I was so angry I could hardly hold myself in check.
See also: check, keep

keep/hold somebody/something in ˈcheck

control somebody/something: The disease is kept in check with drugs.It was difficult to hold their enthusiasm in check.
References in classic literature ?
Day was hunting in company with one of the clerks of the company, a lively youngster, who was a great favorite with the veteran, but whose vivacity he had continually to keep in check.