verb (used with object), held; held or (Archaic) hold·en; hold·ing.
verb (used without object), held; held or (Archaic) hold·en; hold·ing.
- to restrain or check: Police held back the crowd.
- to retain possession of; keep back: He held back ten dollars.
- to refrain from revealing; withhold: to hold back information.
- to refrain from participating or engaging in some activity: He held back from joining in the singing because he felt depressed.
- Photography. dodge (def. 2).
- to restrain; check: Hold down that noise!
- to continue to hold and manage well: She held down that job for years.
- to extend or offer; propose.
- to talk at great length; harangue: When we left, he was still holding forth on World War II.
- to restrain; check; curb.
- to contain oneself; exercise restraint: He was raging inside, but held himself in for fear of saying something he would regret.
- to keep at a distance; resist; repel.
- to postpone action; defer: If you hold off applying for a passport, you may not get one in time.
- to keep a firm grip on.
- to keep going; continue.
- to maintain, as one's opinion or position.
- to stop; halt (usually used imperatively): Hold on now! That isn't what I meant at all.
- to keep a telephone connection open by not hanging up the receiver: The operator asked us to hold on while the number we'd dialed was being checked.
- to present; offer.
- to stretch forth; extend: Hold out your hand.
- to continue to exist; last: Will the food hold out?
- to refuse to yield or submit: The defenders held out for weeks.
- to withhold something expected or due: He was suspected of holding out information important to the case.
- to keep for future consideration or action; postpone.
- to remain in possession or in office beyond the regular term.
- to remain beyond the arranged period: The movie was held over for a week.
- Music. to prolong (a tone) from one measure to the next.
- to offer; give: She held up his father as an example to follow.
- to present to notice; expose: to hold someone up to ridicule.
- to hinder; delay: The plane's departure was held up because of the storm.
- to stop by force in order to rob.
- to support; uphold: to hold up farm prices.
- to stop; halt: They held up at the gate.
- to maintain one's position or condition; endure: They held up through all their troubles.
- to be in agreement with; concur with: I don't hold with his pessimistic views.
- to approve of; condone: They won't hold with such a travesty of justice.
QUIZ YOURSELF ON “THEIR,” “THERE,” AND “THEY’RE”
Idioms for hold
- to get a hold on: Get hold of the railing.
- to communicate with, especially by telephone: If she's not at home, try to get hold of her at the office.
- in or into a state of temporary interruption or suspension: The project will be put on hold until funds become available.
- Telecommunications. in or into a state of temporary interruption in a telephone connection: I'm putting you on hold to answer another call.Compare call waiting.
Origin of hold1
OTHER WORDS FROM holdhold·a·ble, adjective
Words nearby hold
Definition for hold (2 of 2)
- the entire cargo space in the hull of a vessel.
- the cargo space in the hull of a vessel between the lowermost deck and the bottom.
- any individual compartment of such cargo spaces, closed by bulkheads and having its own hatchway.
Origin of hold2
Example sentences from the Web for hold
Observations they had planned for the spring were put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.Phosphine gas found in Venus’ atmosphere may be ‘a possible sign of life’|Lisa Grossman|September 14, 2020|Science News
They are readily available, and I never have to wait on hold for an hour.Only three of 26 Obamacare-era nonprofit health insurance co-ops will soon remain|lbelanger225|September 6, 2020|Fortune
Hartman said he was told the hold was due to unspecified operational issues.AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine enters final-stage trial in the U.S.|Claire Zillman, reporter|September 1, 2020|Fortune
His factory, which employs 14 people, was shut for more than two months, with most first-half orders put on hold.
In March, as the Coronavirus crisis was beginning to take hold, agencies conducted tests to see how viable remote work was before sending employees home for what many thought would be just a few weeks.‘Necessary to attract talent’: How agencies are managing employees’ requests to move to different states|Kristina Monllos|August 26, 2020|Digiday
Blacks would hold about 13 percent of the seats and Latinos 17 percent.
Tomorrow they should hold placards of the cartoons Charlie Hebdo had printed.Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive|Ayaan Hirsi Ali|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Yeah, the “Giant man-puppy” that is Gronkowski won't hold a sexual candle to the blue-eyed dreamboat.‘A Gronking to Remember’ Speed Read: 8 Naughtiest Bits|Emily Shire|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
But how much they have regained or how durable their hold is remains unclear.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War|Nancy A. Youssef|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
But that would now have to be put on hold because he had been shot in the Bronx.
Most of the men leaped up, caught hold of spears or knives, and rushed out.The Giant of the North|R.M. Ballantyne
He was too drowsy to hold the thought more than a moment in his mind, much less to reflect upon it.The Wave|Algernon Blackwood
One adorable smile she gave him, and before he could advance to hold the door for her, she had opened it and passed out.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
Not being sufficiently numerous to hold out the town as well as the Alamo, they retreated into the latter.
He was well set in the form of a man now, the months since his imprisonment having brought him much to fasten upon and hold.The Bondboy|George W. (George Washington) Ogden
British Dictionary definitions for hold (1 of 2)
verb holds, holding or held (hɛld)
- stop! wait!
- stay in the same position! as when being photographed
- a tenure or holding, esp of land
- (in combination)leasehold; freehold; copyhold
- to obtain
- to come into contact with
Derived forms of holdholdable, adjective
Word Origin for hold
British Dictionary definitions for hold (2 of 2)
Word Origin for hold
Idioms and Phrases with hold
In addition to the idioms beginning with hold
- hold a candle to, not
- hold against
- hold a grudge
- hold a gun to someone's head
- hold all the aces
- hold at bay
- hold back
- hold court
- hold down
- hold everything
- hold forth
- hold good
- hold it
- hold no brief for
- hold off
- hold on
- hold one's breath
- hold one's end up
- hold one's fire
- hold one's head high
- hold one's horses
- hold one's own
- hold one's peace
- hold one's temper
- hold one's tongue
- hold on to
- hold on to your hat
- hold out
- hold out on
- hold over
- hold someone's feet to the fire
- hold still for
- hold sway over
- hold the bag
- hold the fort
- hold the line
- hold the phone
- hold the purse strings
- hold to
- hold true
- hold up
- hold water
- hold with
- hold your
- (hold) at bay
- bear (hold) a grudge
- get hold of
- hang (hold) on to your hat
- have a hold over
- lay hold of
- leave holding the bag
- no holds barred
- on hold
- (hold the) purse strings
- stand (hold) one's ground
- take hold