[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.
verb (used without object), with·held, with·hold·ing.
  1. to hold back; refrain.
  2. 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

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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. 2018

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
  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
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