Welcome to the new LearnersDictionary.com. We want to hear your thoughts about the new design.


Learner's definition of HOLD  
[+ object] 
: to have or keep (something) in your hand, arms, etc.
   b : to put your arms around (someone): to embrace or hug (someone)
[+ object] : to put or keep (something or someone) in a specified place or position
   b [+ object] : to keep (something or someone) in the same place or position
   c [no object] : to remain in the same place or position
[no object] : to continue to be good
[+ object] 
: to own or possess (something)
   b : to have or keep (a job, a position, etc.)
   c : to succeed in keeping (something that is being attacked)
   d : to have (something that you have achieved or earned)
[+ object] : to support the pressure or weight of (something or someone)
[+ object] 
: to have or keep (a belief, a feeling, etc.) in your mind
   b somewhat formal : to consider or judge (someone or something) in a specified way— often + for— often followed by to + verb
   c not used in progressive tensessomewhat formal : to have or express (an opinion, belief, etc.)— + that— sometimes used figuratively
[+ object] : to cause (a meeting, class, sale, etc.) to take place
[+ object] 
: to contain (something)
   b not used in progressive tenses : to have enough room for (an amount)
[+ object] : to continue to have (someone's interest or attention)
10 [+ object] : to have (a specified quality, feature, etc.)— often + for
11 [+ object] : to stop doing (something) or wait to do (something)
[+ object] 
12 : to keep (something) available for later use
   b : to delay the handling of (something, such as a telephone call) for a time
13 [+ object] : to prevent (something, such as a vehicle) from leaving
14 [+ object]chiefly US : to not use or include (something) in preparing food
15 [+ object] : to force (someone) to stay in a place (such as a prison)— sometimes used figuratively
16 [+ object] : to continue moving on (a course) without change
17 [+ object]of a vehicle : to stay on (a road) in a safe and secure way when being driven at high speeds
18 [no object] : to be true: to remain valid— often used in the phrases hold true and (less commonly) hold good
19 : to wait to speak to someone on the telephone
[no object]
[+ object]

hold a candle to

— see candle

hold against

[phrasal verb]
hold (something) against (someone) 
: to use (something) as a reason to have a bad opinion of (someone)

hold a gun to someone's head

— see 1gun

hold all the aces

— see 1ace

hold (all/all of) the cards

— see 1card

hold back

[phrasal verb]
: to stop yourself from doing something
   b : to make a less than complete effort
   c hold (someone) back : to stop (someone) from doing something
hold (something) back or hold back (something) 
: to not allow (something) to be seen or known by someone
   b : to keep (something)
   c : to delay (something)
hold (someone or something) back or hold back (someone or something) : to stop (someone or something) from moving forward: to stop (someone or something) from advancing to the next level, grade, or stage

hold court

— see 1court

hold down

[phrasal verb]
hold (something) down or hold down (something) 
: to stop (something) from being or becoming too high
   b : to continue to have (a job)
hold (someone) down or hold down (someone) : to stop (someone) from doing something or advancing to a higher level, position, etc.

hold firm

: to refuse to change what you have been doing or believing

hold forth

[phrasal verb]formal
: to speak about something for a long time

hold hands

orhold someone's hand
— see 1hand

hold in

[phrasal verb]
hold (something) in or hold in (something) 
: to stop (an emotion) from being expressed

hold off

[phrasal verb]
: to wait to do something
◊ If you hold off doing something or hold off on doing something, you wait to do it at a later time.
— often + on
   b : to not happen until later
hold (someone) off or hold off (someone) : to stop (someone) from coming near someone or something
hold (something) off or hold off (something) : to defend against (something) successfully

hold on

[phrasal verb]
: to have or keep your hand, arms, etc., tightly around something
: to succeed in keeping a position, condition, etc.
: to wait or stop briefly
hold on to (something) : to keep possession of (something): to not lose or give up (something)

hold out

[phrasal verb]
: to continue to exist or be available
   b : to continue to work
: to continue to oppose someone or defend against something: to refuse to surrender or give in
— see also holdout
hold out (something) or hold (something) out 
: to reach outward with (something, such as your hand)— sometimes used figuratively
   b : to say that there is a good reason to have (something, such as hope)
   c : to say that (a possibility) exists
hold out for (something) : to refuse to accept or agree to something in order to get (something)
hold out on (someone)informal : to keep something (such as information) from (someone)

hold over

[phrasal verb]
hold over (something) or hold (something) over 
: to cause (something) to happen later
   b US : to cause (something) to continue beyond a normal or planned time
hold (something or someone) over or hold over (something or someone) : to keep (something or someone) from an earlier time
— see also holdover
hold (something) over (someone) : to use your knowledge of (something) to influence or control the behavior of (someone)

hold the bag

(US)informalor Britishhold the baby
: to be given all of the blame or responsibility that should be shared with others

hold the fort

— see fort

hold the line

— see 1line

hold to

[phrasal verb]
hold to (something) : to continue to have or follow (a plan, purpose, etc.): to not change (a decision, belief, etc.)
   b hold (someone) to (something) : to force (someone) to do what is required by (something, such as a promise)
hold (someone) to (something) : to prevent (an opponent) from having or getting more than (a specified number of scores or shots)

hold together

[phrasal verb]
: to stay joined together or in one piece
hold (something) together or hold together (something) : to cause (something) to stay joined together or in one piece

hold up

[phrasal verb]
: to continue in the same condition without failing or losing effectiveness or force
hold (something) up or hold up (something) : to raise (something)
hold up (something or someone) or hold (something or someone) up 
: to delay, stop, or slow the movement, progress, or action of (something or someone)
: delay
— see also holdup
   b : to use a gun to rob (a person, store, etc.)
— see also holdup
   c : to cause (someone or something) to be noticed for a particular reason

hold water

— see 1water

hold with

[phrasal verb]
hold with (something) 
: to agree with or approve of (something)— usually used in negative statements

hold your breath

— see breath

hold your ground

— see 1ground

hold your horses

— see 1horse

hold your liquor

— see liquor

hold your nose

— see 1nose

hold your own

: to do well in a difficult situation

hold your tongue

alsohold your peace
: to keep silent: to not say anything about something
Learner's definition of HOLD  
: the act of holding or gripping something
— usually singular
— often used figuratively
[count] : a way of holding your opponent in wrestling
— see also choke holdstranglehold
: power that is used to control something or someone
   b : an understanding of something— usually + on
[count] : something that can be held or stepped on for support while you are climbing
— see also footholdhandholdtoehold
[singular] : an order that something is to be kept for a particular person or time
[count] : an area on a ship or airplane where cargo is stored

cop hold of

— see 2cop

get hold of

or chiefly USget a hold of
: to get possession of (something): to succeed in getting (something)
: to find and talk to (someone): to contact (someone)
get hold of yourself 
or chiefly USget a hold of yourself
: to get control of your thoughts and emotions and stop behaving in a foolish or uncontrolled way

lay hold of

: to take and hold (something)
: grab
: to understand (something)

no holds barred

◊ If there are no holds barred, there are no limits or rules for what can and cannot be done in a particular situation.
— see also no-holds-barred

on hold

: in the state of waiting to speak to someone on the telephone
: in the state of being delayed for a time

take hold

or chiefly UStake a hold
: to become effective, established, or popular
Comments & Questions  
What made you want to look up hold? Include any comments and questions you have about this word.