1. The act or office of keeping; custody; guard; care; heed; charge. Pan, thou god of shepherds all, Which of our tender lambkins takest keep. (Spenser)
2. The state of being kept; hence, the resulting condition; case; as, to be in good keep.
3. The means or provisions by which one is kept; maintenance; support; as, the keep of a horse. Grass equal to the keep of seven cows. (Carlyle) I performed some services to the college in return for my keep. (t. Hughes)
4. That which keeps or protects; a stronghold; a fortress; a castle; specifically, the strongest and securest part of a castle, often used as a place of residence by the lord of the castle, especially during a siege; the donjon. The prison strong, within whose keep the captive knights were laid. (Dryden) The lower chambers of those gloomy keeps. (Hallam) I think . . . The keep, or principal part of a castle, was so called because the lord and his domestic circle kept, abode, or lived there. (M. A. Lower)
5. That which is kept in charge; a charge. Often he used of his keep a sacrifice to bring. (Spenser)
6. (Science: machinery) a cap for retaining anything, as a journal box, in Place. To take keep, to take care; to heed.