See more synonyms for holder on Thesaurus.com
  1. something that holds or secures: a pencil holder.
  2. a person who has the ownership, possession, or use of something; owner; tenant.
  3. Law. a person who has the legal right to enforce a negotiable instrument.

Origin of holder

First recorded in 1300–50, holder is from the Middle English word haldere. See hold1, -er1
Related formshold·er·ship, nounpre·hold·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for holder

Contemporary Examples of holder

Historical Examples of holder

  • I did not know what to make of my life because the Holder of the Heavens had not revealed himself to me.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • I had the power of a Shaman, though the Holder of the Heavens had not yet spoken to me.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • That is how it is when the Holder of the Heavens shows Himself to his children.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Many a holder of a second mortgage has been left to hold the sack.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Yes, miss, I did see 'un along with a holder gentleman unbeknownst to me.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

British Dictionary definitions for holder


  1. a person or thing that holds
    1. a person, such as an owner, who has possession or control of something
    2. (in combination)householder
  2. law a person who has possession of a bill of exchange, cheque, or promissory note that he is legally entitled to enforce
Derived Formsholdership, noun
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 holder

c.1400, "tenant, occupier," agent noun from hold (v.). Meaning "device for holding something" is attested from 1833.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper