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
Related formshold·a·ble, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for on 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 Formsholdable, adjective
Word Origin for hold
British Dictionary definitions for on hold (2 of 2)
Word Origin for hold
Idioms and Phrases with on hold (1 of 2)
In a state of temporary interruption, but not disconnection, during a telephone call, as in While I was on hold, I checked my calendar for when I could schedule a meeting, or They had to put me on hold while they looked up my account. [c. 1960]
In a state of postponement or delay, as in When she was transferred, they had to put their romance on hold. This figurative usage is a broadened sense of def. 1. [Colloquial; c. 1970]
Idioms and Phrases with on hold (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