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.
- 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
British Dictionary definitions for hold up (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
Word Origin for hold
British Dictionary definitions for hold up (2 of 2)
Word Origin for hold
Word Origin and History for hold up (1 of 4)
also holdup, hold-up, late 13c., "to keep erect;" 1837 as "to delay." The verb meaning "to stop by force and rob" is from 1887, from the robber's command to raise hands. The noun in this sense is from 1851.
Word Origin and History for hold up (1 of 4)
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.
Word Origin and History for hold up (2 of 4)
"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."
Word Origin and History for hold up (3 of 4)
"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.
Idioms and Phrases with hold up (1 of 2)
Offer or present as an example, as in The teacher held Bernie's essay up as a model for the class to follow. [c. 1600]
Obstruct or delay, as in We were held up in traffic. [c. 1900]
Rob, as in He was held up in a dark alley, with no help nearby. This usage, which gave rise to the noun holdup for a robbery, alludes to the robbers' demand that the victims hold their hands high. [Late 1800s]
Also, hold out. Continue to function without losing force or effectiveness, endure. For example, We held up through that long bitter winter, or The nurse was able to hold out until someone could relieve her. [Late 1500s]
See hold one's head high.
Idioms and Phrases with hold up (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
- (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