keep (one's) distance(redirected from keep their distance)
keep (one's) distance
To limit engagement or association (or the appearance thereof) between oneself and someone or something. Politicians have been quick to keep their distance from the senator ever since news of her drug scandal broke. That kid needs to keep his distance—I'll call the police if I catch anyone trespassing on my property.
keep one's distance (from someone or something)
Fig. to maintain a respectful or cautious distance from someone or something. Keep your distance from John. He's in a bad mood. Keep your distance from the fire.
keep one's distance
Stay away; also, remain emotionally remote. For example, It's wise to keep one's distance from any wild animal, or Since the family argued with him, Harry's been keeping his distance. [Late 1500s]