While reading a book on Cicero, I encountered the following passage:

I had to invent what is commonly called shorthand to cope with the flow, a system still used to record the deliberations of the senate, and for which I was recently awarded a modest pension. This, along with a few legacies and the kindness of friends, is sufficient to keep me in my retirement.

I want to ask about this phrase "keep in retirement". Does it mean he doesn't need to work and can thus remain retired, or does it mean he can sustain himself during retirement, or is it ambiguous?

  • 3
    It means he doesn't need to work in order to get money. The pension provides sufficient income. – J.R. May 11 '17 at 14:31
  • The use of keep as a verb here derives from the noun sense Food, clothes, and other essentials for living. Paraphrasing the cited example, it means this is enough to pay for [those essentials] now that I'm retired from work and no longer earning a wage. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica May 11 '17 at 15:58
  • Sufficient to pay for his upkeep. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 11 '17 at 16:55

It's not so much about keeping in retirement, as it is about keeping someone, in the sense of "(financially) sustaining someone".

Although not commonly used in that sense anymore, the expressions kept man and kept woman are still (occasionally?) used, meaning a man or a woman who is financially supported by someone else, usually a lover.

In this case, there is no such implication. He simply states that his pension, together with the other income, keeps him financially sustained during his retirement.

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