1. To refrain from moving very much or at all. Often said as an imperative. Please, keep still! The longer you keep fidgeting, the longer it'll take to put on this sunblock! You'll need to keep still while the MRI machine is running.
2. To cause, direct, or force someone or something not to move very much or at all. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "keep" and "still." The muscle spasms make it impossible to keep my leg still at night. She tried to keep the child still while the doctor examined him.
3. To refrain from making very much or any noise. Often said as an imperative. The crowd kept very still as the golfer began her final putt. Some people just don't know how to keep still during a movie.
4. To cause, direct, or force someone or something not to make very much or any noise. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "keep" and "still." I tried my best to keep my breathing still so that the criminal wouldn't know where I was hiding. We ask that all parents please keep their children still during the demonstration so as not to scare the animals.
keep still (about something)
To not say anything about a particular issue or situation. A: "I think Jake knows that we doctored the numbers in that report." B: "Well, he had better keep still about it then." Keep still about issue for now. We don't want the boss to suspect anything.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
keep someone or something still
1. Lit. and keep someone Or something quiet to make someone or something silent or less noisy. Can you please keep the baby still? Keep that stereo quiet!
2. Go to keep something quiet.
3. and hold someone or something still Fig. to restrain or control someone or something so that the person or thing cannot move. Please keep your foot still. It makes me nervous when you wiggle it. You have to hold the nail still if you want to hit it.
1. and Hold Still. Do not move. Quit wiggling. Keep still! "Hold still. I can't examine your ear if you're moving," said the doctor.
2. Go to keep quiet (about someone or something).
(for someone or something) Go to hold still (for someone or something).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.