[with-hohld, with-]

verb (used with object), with·held, with·hold·ing.

to hold back; restrain or check.
to refrain from giving or granting: to withhold payment.
to collect (taxes) at the source of income.
to deduct (withholding tax) from an employee's salary or wages.

verb (used without object), with·held, with·hold·ing.

to hold back; refrain.
to deduct withholding tax.

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

Synonyms for withhold

1, 2. suppress, repress. See keep.

Antonyms for withhold

1, 2. advance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for withhold

Contemporary Examples of withhold

Historical Examples of withhold

  • They are in the hand of God—in his hand to give or to withhold.

  • Withhold not Thy countenance from the tears and beseechings of the woebegone.

  • I don't care to withhold this from you, kind and trusted Sir.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • How poor to withhold from you your books, your jewels, and your money!

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Why should he take pains to persuade his mother to a consent which she had no right to withhold?

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for withhold


verb -holds, -holding or -held

(tr) to keep back; refrain from givinghe withheld his permission
(tr) to hold back; restrain
(tr) to deduct (taxes, etc) from a salary or wages
(intr usually foll by from) to refrain or forbear
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 withhold

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper