A rearguard action by a determined minority may hold back the tide of history for a while.
“[His humanity] is something that Eric always tries to suppress and fight and hold back,” he said.
There was no reason for him to hold back, and he did not hold back.
He said, “Don’t let it all go now, just hold back ‘til we cover you.”
“I have to hold back my ammunition, hold my poker cards,” he says.
His soul would rush to meet hers, and surely, after a little while, hers would cease to hold back.
I expect clients to be cagey, to hold back information, and to lie.
Once the dike is undermined, no power on earth can hold back the flood of waters from the defenceless lands beneath.
He wanted to hold back, not dash out into that danger-filled twilight.
Now however, on this Sunday, 22nd day of July 1792, it will hold back no longer; and the Solemnity in very deed is.
Old English haldan (Anglian), healdan (West Saxon), "to contain, grasp; retain; foster, cherish," class VII strong verb (past tense heold, past participle healden), from Proto-Germanic *haldanan (cf. Old Saxon haldan, Old Frisian halda, Old Norse halda, Dutch houden, German halten "to hold," Gothic haldan "to tend"), originally "to keep, tend, watch over" (as cattle), later "to have." Ancestral sense is preserved in behold. The original past participle holden was replaced by held beginning 16c., but survives in some legal jargon and in beholden.
Hold back is 1530s, transitive; 1570s, intransitive; hold off is early 15c., transitive; c.1600, intransitive; hold out is 1520s as "to stretch forth," 1580s as "to resist pressure." Hold on is early 13c. as "to maintain one’s course," 1830 as "to keep one’s grip on something," 1846 as an order to wait or stop. To hold (one's) tongue "be silent" is from c.1300. To hold (one's) own is from early 14c. To hold (someone's) hand "give moral support" is from 1935. Phrase hold your horses "be patient" is from 1844. To have and to hold have been paired alliteratively since at least c.1200, originally of marriage but also of real estate.
"act of holding," c.1100; "grasp, grip," c.1200, from Old English geheald (Anglian gehald) "keeping, custody, guard; watch, protector, guardian," from hold (v.). Meaning "place of refuge" is from c.1200; "fortified place" is from c.1300; "place of imprisonment" is from late 14c. Wrestling sense is from 1713. No holds barred "with all restrictions removed" is first recorded 1942 in theater jargon but is ultimately from wrestling. Telephoning sense is from c.1964, from expression hold the line, warning that one is away from the receiver, 1912.
"space in a ship below the lower deck, in which cargo is stowed," 15c. corruption in the direction of hold (v.) of Old English hol "hole" (see hole), influenced by Middle Dutch hol "hold of a ship," and Middle English hul, which originally meant both "the hold" and "the hull" of a ship (see hull). Or possibly from Old English holu "husk, pod." All from PIE *kel- "to cover, conceal."
"to move to and fro" (especially in an effort to avoid something), 1560s, origin and sense evolution obscure, perhaps akin to Scottish dodd "to jog." Common from early 18c. in figurative sense of "to swindle, to play shifting tricks." Related: Dodged; dodging.
"person's way of making a living," 1842, slang, from dodge (v.).
A person's way of making a living, esp if illegal or dubious •Often ironically and deprecatingly used of one's own perfectly ordinary line of work: We used to run gin, but when prohibition ended we had to give up that dodge/ One of the better practitioners of the dictionary dodge (1842+)
a fortress, the name given to David's lurking-places (1 Sam. 22:4, 5; 24:22).