obligated; indebted: a man beholden to no one.

Nearby words

  1. behmenist,
  2. behmenite,
  3. behmenites,
  4. behn,
  5. behold,
  6. beholder,
  7. behoof,
  8. behoove,
  9. behove,
  10. behrens

Origin of beholden

1300–50; Middle English, adj. use of beholden, old past participle of behold

Related formsun·be·hold·en, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beholden

British Dictionary definitions for beholden



indebted; obliged; under a moral obligation

Word Origin for beholden

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

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