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[bih-hohl-duh n] /bɪˈhoʊl dən/
obligated; indebted:
a man beholden to no one.
Origin of beholden
1300-50; Middle English, adj. use of beholden, old past participle of behold
Related forms
unbeholden, adjective
obliged, bound, grateful, liable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for beholden
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then, sinking before him in a deep courtesy, "I am beholden to you," she said.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • You may be assured, that I will sooner be beholden to you, than to any body living.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Twice have I been beholden to you for my life, and now I am in your debt.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • He thought he was a strong man again, with his children about him, and beholden to no one.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • "There's not a man of you who is not beholden to Parson Christian," said Hugh, sternly.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for beholden


indebted; obliged; under a moral obligation
Word Origin
Old English behealden, past participle of behealdan to behold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beholden

"under obligation," mid-14c., originally past participle of behold (and preserving the original past participle of hold), but a sense directly related to this usage is not recorded among the many and varied meanings attested for behold.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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