Idioms for hold

Origin of hold

before 900; Middle English holden, Old English h(e)aldan; cognate with Old Frisian, Old Norse halda, Old Saxon, Gothic haldan, Old High German haltan (German halten)


hold·a·ble, adjective

synonym study for hold

8. See have. 9. See contain. 11. See maintain. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hold on (1 of 3)

hold on

verb (intr, adverb)

to maintain a firm graspshe held on with all her strength
to continue or persist
(foll by to) to keep or retainhold on to those stamps as they'll soon be valuable
to keep a telephone line open


informal stop! wait!

British Dictionary definitions for hold on (2 of 3)

/ (həʊld) /

verb holds, holding or held (hɛld)


Derived forms of hold

holdable, adjective

Word Origin for hold

Old English healdan; related to Old Norse halla, Gothic haldan, German halten

British Dictionary definitions for hold on (3 of 3)

/ (həʊld) /


the space in a ship or aircraft for storing cargo

Word Origin for hold

C16: variant of hole
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

Idioms and Phrases with hold on (1 of 2)

hold on


Also, hold on to. Maintain one's grip, cling, as in Hold on to your hat in this wind, or The early Christians held on to their beliefs despite strong opposition. [Early 1500s]


Continue to do something, persist, as in Please hold on for a while longer. [Late 1800s]


Stop, wait, as in Hold on! We can't go past this gate. [Mid-1800s]


Remain on a telephone line, as in If you can hold on a minute I'll go and find her. [Late 1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with hold on (2 of 2)


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

also see:

  • (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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.