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)

Related forms

hold·a·ble, adjective

Synonym study

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 over (1 of 3)

hold over

verb (tr, mainly adverb)

to defer consideration of or action on
to postpone for a further period
to prolong (a note, chord, etc) from one bar to the next
(preposition) to intimidate (a person) with (a threat)

noun holdover US and Canadian informal

an elected official who continues in office after his term has expired
a performer or performance continuing beyond the original engagement

British Dictionary definitions for hold over (2 of 3)


/ (həʊld) /

verb holds, holding or held (hɛld)


Derived Forms

holdable, adjective

Word Origin for hold

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

British Dictionary definitions for hold over (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 over (1 of 2)

hold over


Postpone or delay, as in Let's hold this matter over until the next meeting. [Mid-1800s]


Keep something in a position or state beyond the normal period, as in The film was to be held over for another week. [First half of 1900s]


Continue in office past the normal period, as in The committee chair held over until they could find a suitable replacement. [Mid-1600s]


hold something over someone. Have an advantage or use a threat to control someone. For example, They knew he'd been caught shoplifting and were sure to hold it over him. [Second half of 1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with hold over (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.