• synonyms


[with-hohld, with-]
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verb (used with object), with·held, with·hold·ing.
  1. to hold back; restrain or check.
  2. to refrain from giving or granting: to withhold payment.
  3. to collect (taxes) at the source of income.
  4. to deduct (withholding tax) from an employee's salary or wages.
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verb (used without object), with·held, with·hold·ing.
  1. to hold back; refrain.
  2. withholding tax.
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Origin of withhold

First recorded in 1150–1200, withhold is from the Middle English word withholden. See with-, hold1
Related formswith·hold·er, nounun·with·held, adjective


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1, 2. suppress, repress. See keep.


1, 2. advance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for withheld


verb -holds, -holding or -held
  1. (tr) to keep back; refrain from givinghe withheld his permission
  2. (tr) to hold back; restrain
  3. (tr) to deduct (taxes, etc) from a salary or wages
  4. (intr usually foll by from) to refrain or forbear
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Derived Formswithholder, 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 withheld



c.1200, from with- "back, away" (see with) + holden "to hold" (see hold (v.)); probably a loan-translation of Latin retinere "to withhold." Related: Withheld; withholding. Past participle form withholden was still used 19c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper