Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[bih-hohld] /bɪˈhoʊld/
verb (used with object), beheld, beholding.
to observe; look at; see.
look; see:
And, behold, three sentries of the King did appear.
Origin of behold
before 900; Middle English beholden, Old English behaldan to keep. See be-, hold1
Related forms
beholdable, adjective
beholder, noun
unbeholdable, adjective
1. regard, gaze upon, view; watch; discern. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for beholding
Historical Examples
  • It is a picture of horror, which I should have as little pleasure in drawing as you in beholding.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 Henry Fielding
  • And no thought of impurity came to him on beholding that lily, snowy whiteness.

  • In the meantime they are happy in their hopes, and for this also they are beholding to me.

    The Praise of Folly Desiderius Erasmus
  • And therefore for this reason it is that old age dotes; and that it does so, it is beholding to me.

    The Praise of Folly Desiderius Erasmus
  • Gilberte gave a little scream of delight on beholding Henriette.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • But on beholding the laundress' besotted face, she tremblingly drew back.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • At the noise of footsteps she raised her head, and shuddered on beholding Jean.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • On beholding him Gervaise uttered such a deep wailing that he awoke.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • On beholding such a scene she was seized with a furious indignation.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Muche chuckled with delight on beholding her dreadful condition.

British Dictionary definitions for beholding


verb (often used in the imperative to draw attention to something, archaic or literary) -holds, -holding, -held
to look (at); observe
Derived Forms
beholder, noun
Word Origin
Old English bihealdan; related to Old High German bihaltan, Dutch behouden; see be-, hold
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for beholding



Old English bihaldan (West Saxon behealdan) "give regard to, hold in view," also "to keep hold of, to belong to," from be- + haldan, healdan (see hold). Related: Beheld; beholding. A common West Germanic compound, cf. Old Saxon bihaldan "hold, keep," Old Frisian bihalda, Old High German bihaltan, German behalten, but "[t]he application to watching, looking, is confined to English" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for beholding

Word Value for beholding

Scrabble Words With Friends