keep off

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keep off

1. To remain physically off or away from something. You have to keep off the grass while the weed killer is being applied. If he had kept off of my property, I wouldn't have opened fire on him like the sign outside warns will happen! I told you to keep off!
2. To cause someone or something to remain physically off or away from something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "keep" and "off." Can you please keep your cat off my bed? Keep the kids off those rickety old swings—they're not safe.
3. To forbear from using or indulging in some illicit or unhealthy substance. I'm keeping off all chocolates and candies until my wedding day. They promised to help pay for his rent as long as he kept off of drugs.
4. To try to avoid or lessen the effects of something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "keep" and "off." I'm having a hard time keeping my mind off the accident.
5. To fail to turn or switch something on. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "keep" and "off." I don't know why he insists on keeping the air conditioning off when it's 80 degrees outside.
6. To guard against something or prevent it from becoming a problem. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "keep" and "off." What can we do to keep these bees off our porch?
See also: keep, off

keep off (of) (something)

1. To remain physically off or away from something. You have to keep off the grass while the weed killer is being applied. If he had kept off of my property, I wouldn't have opened fire on him like the sign outside warns will happen! I told you to keep off!
2. To forbear from using or indulging in some illicit or unhealthy substance. I'm keeping off all chocolates and candies until my wedding day. They promised to help pay for his rent as long as he kept off of drugs.
See also: keep, off

keep someone or something off (of someone or something)

to make sure that someone or something remains off someone or something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Keep that woman off of me! She's obsessed with me! Please keep Timmy off the couch. Keep him off!
See also: keep, off

keep off (of something)

to remain off something; to stay off of something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Please keep off the grass. This is not a public thoroughfare! Keep off! You had better keep off of my property.
See also: keep, off

keep off

1. Ward off, avert, as in She used a bug spray to keep off the mosquitoes. [Mid-1500s]
2. Stay away from, not touch or trespass on; also, prevent from touching or trespassing. For example, They put up a sign asking the public to keep off their property, or Please keep your feet off the sofa. [Late 1500s] Also see hands off.
See also: keep, off

keep off

v.
1. To remain away from some surface or place: You should keep off the stairs; they might break.
2. To hold or maintain something away from some surface or place: Keep your dogs off my lawn.
3. To prevent something, especially something that is not wanted, from staying or accumulating on something: Try to keep those thoughts off of your mind. I've been exercising every day, but I can't keep the weight off.
4. To cause something to be nonoperational by having it remain switched off: I always keep the lights off when I look out the window at the stars. Keep off the lights to save electricity.
5. To refrain from indulging in something unhealthy, such as food or drugs: I've kept off cigarettes for three years now. Keep off of junk food and you'll lose some weight.
See also: keep, off
References in classic literature ?
He said readily, that the way was to keep them off with our great shot as long as we could, and then to use our small arms, to keep them from boarding us; but when neither of these would do any longer, we would retire to our close quarters, for perhaps they had not materials to break open our bulkheads, or get in upon us.
When the poor devils came to receive their rations, Benjamin, who was my deputy, was obliged to keep them off by stretching ropes around me, for they smelt so of garlic, from eating nothing but the wild onion, that the fumes put me out often in my measurement.
The best plan is to stand your ground, and be prepared to keep them off with the butt-end of a mast.
Research on 3,000 parents found most would send their sick child to class, with only 12% saying they would keep them off for chicken pox, 9% for measles and 3% for worms.
Research on 3,000 parents found most would send their sick child to school, with only 12 per cent saying they would keep them off for chicken pox, nine per cent for measles and three per cent for worms.
Research on 3,000 parents found most would send their sick child to school, with only 12% saying they would keep them off for chicken pox, 9% for measles and 3% for worms.
A place for the children to meet and to keep them off the streets.
Zinner suggests researchers could create risk profiles for children with elevated blood pressure and a salt taste preference so pediatricians could intervene "to keep them off salt."
The sensible thing is to retrain the downsized workers and keep them off the jobless rolls.
European countries should get together to keep them off the roads.
"Even though he's voted for the riders, he fought to keep them off in the first place.
Working with an anti-abortion organization and a pro-gun group, the Coalition is denying party endorsements to moderate Republicans in an effort to keep them off the ballot in favor of hard-right candidates.
She said: "All I'm trying to do is keep them off the streets they were terrorising.