Meaning of keep back in English:

keep back

Translate keep back into Spanish

phrasal verb

  • 1Remain at a distance.

    ‘he had kept back from the river when he could’
    • ‘Police cordoned off the area to keep people back and the bus station remained closed following the accident.’
    • ‘The water had risen too high, and the levees just were not strong enough to keep it back.’
    • ‘He tried to get in again, covering his face with a T-shirt, but again the flames kept him back.’
    • ‘The media cordon is set up relatively close to the building, stepping back, keeping us back only about 50 to 75 metres.’
    • ‘Standing, he meant to go after the man, but Brad laid a gentle but restraining hand on his shoulder, keeping him back.’
    • ‘He was escorted by more than 50 police officers back to the community to re-enact the crime, but there were not enough officers to keep back the angry crowd who wanted immediate revenge.’
    • ‘It was lucky that the windows are double-glazed as they kept back the flames for a few minutes.’
    • ‘The captain of the Carpathia, however, had heard ‘no such stories’ about men being kept back from the lifeboats at gunpoint.’
    • ‘They were kept back by hundreds of police.’
    • ‘Cardiff fans were segregated at the match, and afterwards kept back while Leeds fans dispersed.’
    1. 1.1keep someone or something back, keep back someone or somethingCause someone or something to remain at a distance.
      • ‘he could have known that words would be unable to keep her back’
  • 2keep something back, keep back somethingRetain or withhold something.

    ‘he kept back £5 for himself’
    • ‘Although this was the amount of rations laid down by law some of the shady crews often kept back food for to sell when they reached shore.’
    • ‘Emergency services made arrangements with garages for supplies to be kept back specially for their vehicles.’
    • ‘So far everything we've kept back will have a place in the next house, even if only once a year, like Christmas decorations.’
    • ‘They have always been told that insurance companies kept back some profits from the good years to compensate for the bad ones.’
    • ‘The blunder was made in calculating how much of the grant should go to schools and how much kept back for administration.’
    • ‘When the pasta is ready, drain through a colander - keeping back a bit of the water - and tip immediately onto the egg yolk- and Parmesan mix, and ensuring that 1-2 tbsp of the cooking water goes with it.’
    • ‘District councillors have blamed central government cutbacks for the rise, as newly introduced funding ‘ceilings’ mean money has been kept back from many local councils.’
    • ‘Patrick Scott, York's director of education, said it was tempting to assume funding was being kept back, but he suspected the truth was more complicated.’
    • ‘Martin said some pupils had still not received their report cards, which were being kept back because they had failed to pay their school fees.’
    • ‘The profit kept back for the firm, after tax, was just £4.48m.’
    reserve, keep in reserve, put by, save, save up, store up, put aside, lay aside, set aside, hoard, treasure
    1. 2.1Decline to disclose information.
      ‘she might be willing to give me the details she had kept back from Ann’
      • ‘I've kept this post back for a long time and altered a few key details, just in case my employers think they can identify us and use this blog as a stick with which to beat me.’
      • ‘Sorry mum, every daughter keeps a few things back y'know…’
      • ‘You know, you have to watch the behaviors, too, and see if they seem to be keeping something back.’
      • ‘I have a feeling they're keeping something back for a second series.’
      • ‘He has also discovered, through his relationship with Moore and their subsequent break-up, that he needs to keep something back.’
      • ‘And even if directors were found to have wrongly kept back information they could not be fined, Sir Howard said.’
      • ‘And yet, and yet… something of yourself should always be kept back in the cop game.’
      • ‘He denied he kept back the Ernst and Young report because he did not agree with some of its findings.’
      conceal, keep secret, keep hidden, hide, withhold, suppress, keep quiet about, not tell, not reveal, not divulge, hush up
  • 3keep someone back, keep back someoneMake a pupil repeat a year at school because of poor marks.

    ‘she had been kept back a year’
    • ‘His sister, also a sophomore (because she had been kept back in grade school), has a 3.6 GPA and is a leader in her Bible-studies group.’
    • ‘Authority's remedy, if you spent too much time out of the stream in one year, was to keep you back a class.’
    • ‘I have had many students who have been kept back a year, and they have had great success.’
    • ‘Consider keeping him back a year in school to allow him more time to develop the underlying abilities that he may need to avoid making him overly frustrated.’
    • ‘Kids who fail the test are kept back a grade.’
    • ‘Teachers threatened to keep kids back a year if they failed… and they did?’
    1. 3.1British Make a pupil stay at school after normal hours as a punishment.
      • ‘after the first lesson the teacher kept me back’