Top 28 Slang For Keep – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to expressing the concept of “keep” in a more trendy and fun way, we’ve got you covered. From the latest slang terms to creative phrases, our team has put together a list that will have you saying “I’m gonna hold onto that!” Get ready to upgrade your vocabulary and stay ahead of the curve with our compilation of the coolest slang for keep.

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1. Hold down

This phrase is often used to convey the idea of keeping something or someone under control or in one’s possession.

  • For example, in a conversation about a job, someone might say, “I’ve been able to hold down this position for five years.”
  • In a discussion about parenting, a person might mention, “It can be challenging to hold down a job while raising young children.”
  • A friend might ask, “Can you hold down the fort while I’m on vacation?”

2. Hang onto

This phrase is commonly used to express the act of keeping or holding onto something.

  • For instance, if someone is trying to sell an old item, they might say, “I’m going to hang onto it for now.”
  • In a conversation about memories, a person might say, “I like to hang onto sentimental items.”
  • A friend might advise, “Hang onto that book, you’ll want to read it again.”

3. Maintain

This word is often used to convey the idea of keeping something in a specified state or condition.

  • For example, in a discussion about a car, someone might say, “It’s important to maintain regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, a person might mention, “Communication is key to maintaining a healthy partnership.”
  • A friend might advise, “To maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.”

4. Preserve

This word is commonly used to express the act of keeping something in its original or existing state, often with the intention of protecting or conserving it.

  • For instance, in a discussion about historical artifacts, someone might say, “We must preserve these artifacts for future generations.”
  • In a conversation about food, a person might mention, “Canning is a great way to preserve fruits and vegetables.”
  • A friend might advise, “To preserve the quality of your clothes, wash them in cold water and hang them to dry.”

5. Retain

This word is often used to express the act of keeping or holding onto something, especially in a professional or legal context.

  • For example, in a discussion about a job, someone might say, “The company wants to retain its top talent.”
  • In a conversation about a contract, a person might mention, “The agreement allows the client to retain ownership of the intellectual property.”
  • A friend might advise, “To retain information better, try taking notes and reviewing them regularly.”

6. Secure

To secure means to make something safe or protected from harm or loss. It can also refer to keeping something confidential or private. In slang, “secure” is often used to mean to obtain or acquire something.

  • For example, “I need to secure my belongings before leaving for vacation.”
  • In a heist movie, a character might say, “We need to secure the perimeter before going in.”
  • A person might ask, “Can you secure us some tickets to the concert?”

7. Store

To store means to keep something in a specific place for future use or safekeeping. In slang, “store” is often used to refer to hiding or concealing something.

  • For instance, “I need to store my winter clothes in the attic.”
  • A character in a spy movie might say, “I have a secret store of weapons hidden in my apartment.”
  • In a conversation about illegal substances, someone might mention, “He’s been storing drugs in his basement.”

8. Guard

To guard means to protect or keep watch over something or someone. In slang, “guard” can also mean to keep something a secret or not reveal it.

  • For example, “The security guard will guard the entrance to the building.”
  • In a discussion about personal information, someone might say, “Guard your social security number.”
  • A character in a fantasy novel might say, “I will guard the treasure with my life.”

9. Save

To save means to keep something for future use or to prevent it from being lost or destroyed. In slang, “save” can also mean to prevent someone from getting into trouble or to help them out.

  • For instance, “I need to save some money for a vacation.”
  • In a conversation about computer files, someone might say, “Make sure to save your work frequently.”
  • A person might ask, “Can you save me a seat at the movie theater?”

10. Sustain

To sustain means to keep something going or to maintain it over time. In slang, “sustain” can also mean to endure or survive a difficult situation.

  • For example, “We need to sustain our efforts to protect the environment.”
  • In a conversation about a long-distance relationship, someone might say, “It’s hard to sustain the connection when we’re so far apart.”
  • A character in a post-apocalyptic movie might say, “We need to find a sustainable food source to survive.”

11. Protect

To protect something means to keep it safe from harm or danger. It can also refer to guarding or watching over someone or something.

  • For example, a parent might say, “I will protect my children at all costs.”
  • In a discussion about endangered species, someone might argue, “It is our responsibility to protect these animals and their habitats.”
  • A security guard might say, “My job is to protect the building and its occupants.”

12. Watch over

To watch over something or someone means to keep a close eye on them, often to ensure their safety or well-being.

  • For instance, a babysitter might say, “I will watch over the children while you’re out.”
  • In a neighborhood watch program, participants might take turns watching over the community and reporting any suspicious activity.
  • A concerned friend might offer, “I’ll watch over your house while you’re on vacation.”

13. Hold onto

To hold onto something means to keep possession of it, often despite challenges or temptations to let go.

  • For example, a person going through tough times might say, “I’m just trying to hold onto my job.”
  • In a discussion about sentimental items, someone might say, “I still hold onto this old photo album because it reminds me of my childhood.”
  • A coach might advise their team, “Hold onto the ball and don’t let the opponent take it from you.”

14. Hoard

To hoard something means to accumulate or amass a large quantity of it, often in excess or to the point of obsession.

  • For instance, a collector might hoard rare coins or stamps.
  • In a conversation about people who stockpile supplies, someone might say, “They hoard toilet paper and hand sanitizer during a crisis.”
  • A person with a tendency to hoard might admit, “I struggle with letting go of things, so I tend to hoard unnecessary items.”

15. Stockpile

To stockpile something means to gather or store it in large quantities, often in preparation for future use or in anticipation of scarcity.

  • For example, a country might stockpile weapons to ensure its defense.
  • In a discussion about emergency preparedness, someone might advise, “It’s important to stockpile non-perishable food and water in case of a natural disaster.”
  • A business owner might say, “I always stockpile inventory during the holiday season to meet the increased demand.”

16. Cling to

This slang phrase means to hold on to something tightly or to refuse to let go. It can also be used figuratively to describe holding on to a belief or idea.

  • For example, “She clung to her teddy bear as a child.”
  • In a metaphorical sense, someone might say, “He clings to the idea that money equals success.”
  • Another example could be, “Despite the difficult situation, she clung to hope and persevered.”

17. Cherish

To cherish something means to hold it dear and value it greatly. It implies a deep emotional attachment or appreciation for something or someone.

  • For instance, “She cherishes the necklace her grandmother gave her.”
  • A person might say, “I cherish the memories we made together.”
  • Another example could be, “He cherishes his freedom and independence.”

18. Safeguard

To safeguard something means to protect it or ensure its safety. It can refer to physical protection or the act of taking measures to prevent harm or damage.

  • For example, “We must safeguard our personal information online.”
  • A person might say, “It’s important to safeguard our natural resources for future generations.”
  • Another example could be, “The security measures in place safeguarded the building from unauthorized access.”

19. Reserve

To reserve something means to set it aside for future use or to save it for a specific purpose. It can also refer to making a reservation or booking in advance.

  • For instance, “She reserved a table at the restaurant for her anniversary.”
  • A person might say, “I need to reserve some energy for later.”
  • Another example could be, “He reserved his judgment until he had more information.”

20. Uphold

To uphold something means to maintain or support it, often in the face of opposition or challenge. It implies a commitment to preserving a particular value, principle, or standard.

  • For example, “She upholds the traditions of her family.”
  • A person might say, “It’s important to uphold the principles of justice and fairness.”
  • Another example could be, “He upholds the integrity of his work by always delivering high-quality results.”

21. Conserve

To maintain or protect something, especially in order to prevent waste, damage, or loss. “Conserve” can also refer to using resources sparingly or efficiently.

  • For example, a person concerned about the environment might say, “We need to conserve water by taking shorter showers.”
  • In a discussion about energy consumption, someone might argue, “Conserving electricity is essential for reducing our carbon footprint.”
  • A teacher might instruct their students, “Remember to conserve your energy during the game so you have enough stamina for the entire match.”

22. Retain possession of

To continue to have or hold on to something, especially when faced with challenges or attempts to take it away. “Retain possession of” emphasizes the importance of keeping something in one’s control or ownership.

  • For instance, a coach might advise their team, “We need to retain possession of the ball if we want to win the game.”
  • In a negotiation, someone might say, “We must retain possession of our intellectual property rights.”
  • A parent might remind their child, “Make sure to retain possession of your personal belongings while at school.”

23. Keep hold of

To continue to grasp or hold on to something, often in the face of resistance or attempts to pull it away. “Keep hold of” implies a firm grip or physical connection.

  • For example, a hiker might warn their companion, “Keep hold of the railing while crossing the slippery bridge.”
  • In a crowded market, someone might say, “Make sure to keep hold of your purse or wallet.”
  • A teacher guiding a student might say, “Keep hold of my hand as we cross the street.”

24. Maintain control of

To continue to have power, influence, or authority over a situation or group of people. “Maintain control of” emphasizes the importance of staying in a position of leadership or dominance.

  • For instance, a manager might say, “We need to maintain control of the project to ensure its success.”
  • In a political debate, a candidate might argue, “It is crucial to maintain control of our borders.”
  • A parent might advise their teenager, “If you want more freedom, you need to maintain control of your responsibilities.”

25. Keep in check

To control or restrain something, often to prevent it from becoming excessive, overwhelming, or dangerous. “Keep in check” implies the need for monitoring and regulating a situation or behavior.

  • For example, a supervisor might say, “We need to keep our expenses in check to stay within budget.”
  • In a discussion about personal habits, someone might say, “I try to keep my emotions in check during stressful situations.”
  • A teacher might remind their students, “Please keep your noise level in check during the exam.”

26. Keep tabs on

To keep an eye on someone or something, usually to stay informed about their activities or progress. This phrase suggests a sense of surveillance or observation.

  • For example, a parent might say, “I like to keep tabs on my kids’ social media accounts to ensure their safety.”
  • In a workplace setting, a manager might say, “Let’s keep tabs on the progress of this project to make sure we’re on track.”
  • A friend might ask, “Can you keep tabs on my dog while I’m on vacation?”

27. Keep under wraps

To keep something concealed or hidden from others. This phrase implies the need for discretion or confidentiality.

  • For instance, a movie studio might try to keep a highly anticipated plot twist under wraps to surprise the audience.
  • A person might say, “I can’t reveal my sources. I have to keep them under wraps.”
  • In a business context, someone might say, “We need to keep this new product under wraps until the official launch.”

28. Keep at bay

To keep something or someone at a distance or prevent them from causing harm or trouble. This phrase suggests a sense of defense or protection.

  • For example, a person might say, “I take vitamin C to keep colds at bay.”
  • In a sports context, a coach might say, “We need to keep the opposing team’s star player at bay.”
  • A person discussing personal safety might say, “Carrying pepper spray can help keep potential attackers at bay.”
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