hold1 W1S1 [həuld US hould] v past tense and past participle held [held]
1¦(in your hand/arms)¦
3¦(keep something in position)¦
6¦(keep something available for somebody)¦
7¦(keep somebody somewhere)¦
9 hold somebody responsible/accountable/liable (for something)
10¦(own something)¦
11¦(contain particular amount)¦
13¦(stay at same level)¦
14¦(not change)¦
16 hold your head up
17 hold your breath
18 hold (your) fire
21¦(musical note)¦
23¦(have a quality)¦
24 hold your own (against somebody)
25 not hold a candle to somebody/something
26 be left holding the baby
27 hold sway
28 hold court
29 hold your tongue
30 hold all the cards
31 hold fast (to something)
32 hold a conversation
33 hold the fort
34 hold the lead/advantage
35 there's no holding somebody (back)
36 can hold your drink/liquor/alcohol etc
37 not hold water
38 hold something/somebody dear
39 hold the road
Phrasal verbs
 hold something against somebody
 hold back
 hold somebody/something<=>down
 hold forth
 hold off
 hold on
 hold on to somebody/something
 hold out
 hold out for something
 hold out on somebody
 hold something over
 hold to something
 hold together
 hold up
 hold somebody/something up as something
 hold with something
[: Old English; Origin: healdan]
a) [T]
to have something in your hand, hands, or arms
Could you hold my bag for me?
hold sth in your hand/arms
He was holding a knife in one hand.
I held the baby in my arms.
hold hands
(=hold each other's hands)
They sat holding hands under a tree.
hold sb close/tightly
(=with your arms around someone)
Max held her close and wiped away her tears.
b) [T always + adverb/preposition]
to move your hand or something in your hand in a particular direction
hold sth out/up etc
He held out his hand to help her to her feet.
Hold the picture up so we can see it.
2.) ¦(EVENT)¦ [T]
to have a meeting, party, election etc in a particular place or at a particular time
This year's conference will be held at the Hilton Hotel.
A thanksgiving ceremony was held to mark the occasion.
The funeral was held on a grey day in November.
In April, the President held talks with Chinese leaders.
to make something stay in a particular position
hold sth open/up etc
We used rolled-up newspapers to hold the windows open.
Remember to hold your head up and keep your back straight.
hold sth in place/position
A couple of screws should hold it in place.
Lift your head off the floor and hold this position for five seconds.
4.) ¦(JOB/TITLE)¦ [T]
a) to have a particular job or position, especially an important one
Do you really think he's capable of holding such a responsible position?
hold the post/position/office etc (of sth)
She was the first woman to hold the office of Australian state premier.
The governor had held the post since 1989.
Whoever is elected will hold office (=have an important political position) for four years.
b) to have a particular title or record, because you have won a competition, are the best at something etc
The programme still holds the record for the longest running TV series.
The last Briton to hold the title was Bert Nicholson.
5.) ¦(KEEP/STORE)¦ [T]
to keep something to be used when it is needed
Further copies of the book are held in the library.
Weapons were held at various sites.
to agree not to give something such as a ticket, a place at a restaurant, a job etc to anyone except a particular person
We can hold the reservation for you until next Friday.
hold sth open
You can't expect them to hold the job open for much longer - you'll have to decide whether you want it or not.
to keep someone somewhere, and not allow them to leave
Police are holding two men in connection with the robbery.
hold sb prisoner/hostage/captive
A senior army officer was held hostage for four months.
hold sb incommunicado
(=keep someone somewhere and not allow them to communicate with anyone)
8.) ¦(OPINION)¦ [T not in progressive]
to have a particular opinion or belief
Experts hold varying opinions as to the causes of the disease.
be widely/generally/commonly held
(=be the opinion of a lot of people)
This view is not widely held.
be held to be sth
She was held to be one of the most talented actors of her time.
hold that
The judge held that the child's interests in this case must come first.
9.) hold sb responsible/accountable/liable (for sth)
to say or decide that someone should accept the responsibility for something bad that happens
If anything happens to her, I'll hold you personally responsible .
He may have had a terrible childhood, but he should still be held accountable for his own actions.
to officially own or possess money, a document, a company etc
He holds shares in ICI.
Do you hold a valid passport?
a privately held company
11.) ¦(CONTAIN PARTICULAR AMOUNT)¦ [T not in progressive]
to have the space to contain a particular amount of something
The movie theater holds 500 people.
The tank should hold enough to last us a few days.
12.) ¦(SUPPORT)¦ [I and T]
to be strong enough to support the weight of something or someone
Careful! I'm not sure that branch will hold you.
The bridge didn't look as though it would hold.
13.) ¦(STAY AT SAME LEVEL)¦ [I and T]
to stay at a particular amount, level, or rate, or to make something do this
The bank is holding interest rates at 4%.
Since then, the pound has held steady against the dollar.
hold sb's interest/attention
(=make someone stay interested)
Colourful pictures help hold the students' interest.
14.) ¦(NOT CHANGE)¦
to continue to be true, good, available etc
What I said yesterday holds.
Does your invitation still hold?
hold true/good
Twenty years on, his advice still holds good.
weather/luck holds (out)
(=continues to be good)
If our luck holds, we could reach the final.
15.) ¦(STOP/DELAY)¦ [T]
[i]spoken used in particular phrases to tell someone to wait or not to do something
I'll have a tuna fish sandwich please - and hold the mayo. (=do not give me any)
hold it!
Hold it! We're not quite ready.
hold your horses!
(=used to tell someone to do something more slowly or carefully)
16.) hold your head up also hold your head high
to behave as if you are proud of yourself or respect yourself
They may have lost the game, but I still think they've earned the right to hold their heads high today.
17.) hold your breath
a) to deliberately not breathe out for a short time
Hold your breath and count to ten.
b) to not breathe out and try not to make a sound because you do not want to be noticed
Julie shrank back against the wall and held her breath.
c) not hold your breath
spoken used to say that you do not expect something to happen, even though someone has said it will
He promised he'd phone, but I'm not holding my breath.
18.) hold (your) fire
a) to not shoot at someone when you were going to
b) to not criticize, attack, or oppose someone when you were going to
The president urged his party to hold fire on the issue a few days longer.
19.) ¦(TELEPHONE)¦
[i]also hold the line
spoken to wait until the person you have telephoned is ready to answer
Mr Stevens is busy at the moment - would you like to hold?
Please hold the line while I transfer you.
20.)¦(ARMY)¦ [T]
if an army holds a place, it controls it or defends it from attack
The French army held the town for three days.
21.) ¦(MUSICAL NOTE)¦ [T]
to make a musical note continue for a particular length of time
22.) ¦(FUTURE)¦ [T] formal
if the future holds something, that is what may happen
Thousand of workers are waiting to see what the future holds .
23.) ¦(HAVE A QUALITY)¦ [T] formal
to have a particular quality
hold (little) interest/appeal/promise etc
Many church services hold little appeal for modern tastes.
24.) hold your own (against sb)
to successfully defend yourself or succeed in a difficult situation, competition etc
He was a good enough player to hold his own against the Americans.
25.) not hold a candle to sb/sth
to be much worse than someone or something else
26.) be left holding the baby
BrE be left holding the bag AmE
to be left as the only person responsible for dealing with a difficult situation, especially something someone else started
He was left holding the financial baby when his musical partner joined another band.
27.) hold sway
to have a lot of influence or power
Among people here, traditional values still hold sway.
28.) hold court
to get the attention of everyone while you are talking, especially when you are trying to entertain people
Joey would walk into the bar and hold court all night.
29.) hold your tongue
spoken used to tell someone to stop talking or to not tell someone about something
I reckon you've just got to learn to hold your tongue.
30.)hold all the cards
to have all the advantages in a situation in which people are competing or arguing
'There's not much we can do. They seem to hold all the cards,' said Dan gloomily.
31.) hold fast (to sth)
to keep believing strongly in something
32.) hold a conversation
to have a conversation
33.) hold the fort
to be responsible for something while the person usually responsible for it is not there
She's holding the fort while the manager's on holiday.
34.) hold the lead/advantage
to be winning in a competition, game etc
Celtic held the lead in the first half.
35.) there's no holding sb (back)
spoken used to say that someone is so determined to do something that you cannot prevent them from doing it
36.) can hold your drink/liquor/alcohol etc
to be able to drink a lot of alcohol without getting drunk or ill
37.) not hold water
if an excuse, a statement etc does not hold water, it does not seem to be true or reasonable
His explanation of where the money came from just doesn't hold water.
38.) hold sth/sb dear
formal to care about something or someone a lot
We were facing the loss of everything we held dear.
39.) hold the road
if a car holds the road well you can drive it quickly around bends without losing control
hold a course atcourse1 (8)
hold against [hold sth against sb] phr v
to continue to dislike someone or not forgive them because of something bad they have done in the past
You can't still hold that against him, surely?
hold back phr v
1.) hold sb/sth<=>back
to make someone or something stop moving forward
Police in riot gear held back the demonstrators.
2.) hold sth<=>back
to stop yourself from feeling or showing a particular emotion
She struggled to hold back her tears .
Anger flooded through her. She couldn't hold it back.
3.) hold sb/sth<=>back
to prevent someone or something from making progress
They felt the British economy was being held back by excessive government controls.
4.) hold (sb) back
to be unwilling to do something, especially because you are being careful, or to make someone unwilling to do something
In the current situation many investors are holding back.
She wanted to tell him but pride held her back.
5.) hold sth<=>back
to keep something secret
Tell me all about it - don't hold anything back!
hold down [hold sb/sth<=>down] phr v
1.) to make someone or something stay on something, and stop them from moving away or escaping
We had to hold the tent down with rocks to stop it blowing away.
It took three strong men to hold him down.
2.) to prevent the level of something such as prices from rising
We will aim to hold down prices.
3.) hold down a job
to succeed in keeping a job for a period of time
He's never held down a job for longer than a few weeks.
4.) to keep people under control or limit their freedom
The people were held down for centuries by their conquerors.
hold forth phr v
to give your opinion on a subject, especially for a long time
hold forth on
The speaker was holding forth on the collapse of modern society.
hold off phr v
1.) to delay doing something
Buyers have been holding off until the price falls.
hold off (on) doing sth
Hold off making your decision until Monday.
2.) hold sb<=>off
a) to prevent someone who is trying to attack or defeat you from succeeding
Not even a gun could hold him off forever.
b) to prevent someone from coming towards you or succeeding in speaking to you
There's already a crowd of reporters outside - I'll try to hold them off for a while.
3.) if rain or bad weather holds off, it does not start, although it looked as if it would
The rain held off until after the game.
hold on phr v
1.) spoken
a) to wait for a short time
Hold on, I'll just get my coat.
b) used when you have just noticed, heard, or remembered something interesting or wrong
Hold on a minute! Isn't that your brother's car over there?
c) used to ask someone on the telephone to wait until the person they want to talk to is available
Can you hold on? I'll try to find her.
2.) to have your hands or arms tightly around something
Hold on tight !
hold on to
Hold on to my arm.
3.) to continue doing something that is very difficult to do
San Francisco held on to win 4-2.
hold on to / [hold on to sb/sth] phr v
to keep something rather than losing it, selling it, or giving it to someone else
The soldiers held on to the bridge for three more days.
I think I'll hold on to these old records for now.
hold out phr v
1.) hold out sth
to think or say that something is possible or likely to happen, especially something good
not hold out much hope/hold out little hope
Negotiators aren't holding out much hope of a peaceful settlement.
hold out the prospect/promise of sth
alternative methods which hold out the promise of improved health
2.) if a supply of something holds out, there is still some left
Water supplies won't hold out much longer.
3.) to continue to successfully defend a place that is being attacked
The rebels held out for another night but then fresh forces arrived.
4.) to try to prevent yourself from doing something that someone is trying to force you to do
hold out against
I didn't know how much longer I could hold out against their relentless questioning.
hold out for [hold out for sth] phr v
to not accept anything less than you have asked for
Transport workers are holding out for a 20% pay rise.
hold out on [hold out on sb] phr v
to not tell someone about something important
She must have been holding out on him all these years.
hold over [hold sth over] phr v
1.) [usually passive] formal
to do or deal with something at a later time
The matter was held over for further review.
2.) hold sth over sb
to use something bad that you know about someone to make them do what you want
He knows I've been in prison and is holding it over me.
3.) be held over
especially AmE if a play, film, concert etc is held over, it is shown for longer than planned because it is very popular
hold to [hold to sth] phr v
1.) if you hold to a belief, principle, promise etc, you believe it or behave according to it
He admitted he did not hold to the traditional view of God.
The Secretary of State must hold to his policy.
2.) hold sb to sth
to make someone do what they have promised
'I'll ask him tomorrow.' 'OK, but I'm going to hold you to that.'
3.) hold sb to sth
BrE to prevent your opponent in a sports game from getting more than a particular number of points
Norway held Holland to a 2-2 draw.
hold together phr v
1.) if a group or organization holds together, or if something holds it together, it stays strong and does not separate into different parts or groups
Against all expectations, the coalition held together well.
hold sth<=>together
In those days the Church held the community together.
2.) to remain whole and good enough to use, or to make something do this
Incredibly, the raft held together till we reached the opposite shore.
hold sth<=>together
I wondered how the structure was held together.
hold up phr v
1.) hold sth<=>up
to support something and prevent it from falling down
The roof is held up by massive stone pillars.
2.) hold sb/sth<=>up [usually passive]
to delay someone or something
Sorry I'm late - I was held up at work.
3.) hold up sth
to rob or try to rob a place or person by using violence
Two armed men held up a downtown liquor store last night.
4.) to not become weaker
His physical condition has held up well.
hold up as [hold sb/sth up as sth] phr v
to use someone or something as a good example or as proof of something
The school is held up as a model for others.
This incident will be held up as proof that tougher controls are needed.
hold with [hold with sth] phr v
not hold with sth
BrE used to say that someone does not approve of something
He says he doesn't hold with all this politically correct stuff.
not hold with doing sth
I don't hold with hitting children in any circumstances.
WORD CHOICE: hold, take/get hold of, pick up
Hold means to have something in your hand, hands, or arms : He was holding a piece of paper.
If you want to talk about someone putting their hands or fingers around something and starting to hold it, use take/get hold of : She got hold of the knife and stabbed him.
If you want to talk about someone putting their fingers around something and taking it, especially from the floor, use pick up : I picked up all the toys from the floor.
!! Use pick not pick up when you are talking about pulling flowers off a plant : She was in the garden picking flowers (NOT She was in the garden picking up flowers).
hold 2
hold2 W3S2 n
1¦(holding something)¦
2 get hold of something
2 get a hold of something
3 get hold of somebody
3 get a hold of somebody
5 on hold
6 take (a) hold
7 get hold of an idea/an impression/a story etc
11 no holds barred
[Sense: 1-9, 11; Origin: HOLD1]
[Sense: 10; Origin: hole]
1.) ¦(HOLDING SOMETHING)¦ [singular]
the action of holding something with your hands
= ↑grip hold on
She released her tight hold on the dog.
He tightened his hold , refusing to let her go.
Make sure you keep hold of my hand when we cross the road.
I took hold of her hand and gently led her away.
Grab hold of the rope and pull yourself up.
2.) get hold of sth also get a hold of sth
AmE to find or borrow something so that you can use it
I need to get hold of a car.
She managed to get a hold of a copy.
3.) get hold of sb also get a hold of sb
AmE to find and speak to someone about something
I must get hold of Vanessa to see if she can babysit.
4.) ¦(CONTROL/POWER)¦ [singular]
control, power, or influence over something or someone
get/keep a hold on/of sth
He struggled to get a hold of his emotions.
I've always kept a tight hold on our finances.
I realized that the woman had a hold over my father.
5.) on hold
a) if something is on hold, it is going to be done or dealt with at a later date rather than now
The plans are on hold until after the election.
Since having the kids, my career has been put on hold .
b) if you are on hold, you are waiting to talk to someone on the telephone
We try not to keep people on hold for more than a couple of minutes.
The agent put me on hold while she consulted a colleague.
6.) take (a) hold
to start to have a definite effect
The fever was beginning to take hold.
7.) get hold of an idea/an impression/a story etc
to learn or begin to believe something
Where on earth did you get hold of that idea?
8.) ¦(FIGHT)¦
a particular position that you hold an opponent in, in a fight or a sport such as ↑wrestling
9.) ¦(CLIMBING)¦
somewhere you can put your hands or feet to help you climb something
The cliff was steep and it was difficult to find a hold.
the part of a ship below the ↑deck 1(1) where goods are stored
11.) no holds barred
when there are no rules or limits on what you are allowed to do
It seems there are no holds barred when it comes to making a profit.
COLLOCATES for sense 1
tight/firm hold (on something)
tighten your hold (on something)
loosen/release your hold (on something)
have/keep hold of something (=be holding something)
get/take hold of something (=start holding something)
catch/grab/seize hold of something (=take hold of something quickly and firmly)
lose your hold (on something) (=accidentally let go of something)

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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