Hold - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |həʊld|  American pronunciation of the word hold
Brit.  |həʊld|  British pronunciation of the word hold
irregular verb:  p.t. — held  p.p. — held


- the act of grasping (syn: clasp, clench, clutch, clutches, grasp, grip)
she kept a firm hold on the railing
- understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something (syn: appreciation, grasp)
- power by which something or someone is affected or dominated
he has a hold over them
- time during which some action is awaited (syn: delay, postponement, wait)
he ordered a hold in the action
- a state of being confined (usually for a short time) (syn: custody, detention)
the prisoner is on hold
- a stronghold
- a cell in a jail or prison (syn: keep)
- the appendage to an object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it (syn: grip, handgrip, handle)
- the space in a ship or aircraft for storing cargo


- cause to continue in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., `keep clean' (syn: keep, maintain)
hold in place
- have or hold in one's hands or grip
A crazy idea took hold of him
- organize or be responsible for (syn: give, have, make, throw)
hold a reception
- have or possess, either in a concrete or an abstract sense (syn: have)
She holds a Master's degree from Harvard
- keep in mind or convey as a conviction or view (syn: deem)
hold these truths to be self-evident
I hold him personally responsible
- maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings) (syn: entertain, harbor, harbour, nurse)
- to close within bounds, or otherwise limit or deprive of free movement (syn: confine, constrain, restrain)
This holds the local until the express passengers change trains
- secure and keep for possible future use or application (syn: hold back, keep back, retain)
- have rightfully; of rights, titles, and offices (syn: bear)
- be the physical support of; carry the weight of (syn: hold up, support, sustain)
The beam holds up the roof
What's holding that mirror?
- contain or hold; have within (syn: bear, carry, contain)
The canteen holds fresh water
- have room for; hold without crowding (syn: accommodate, admit)
The auditorium can't hold more than 500 people
- remain in a certain state, position, or condition
- support or hold in a certain manner (syn: bear, carry)
She holds her head high
- be valid, applicable, or true (syn: obtain, prevail)
This theory still holds
- assert or affirm
Rousseau's philosophy holds that people are inherently good
- have as a major characteristic
The novel holds many surprises
The book holds in store much valuable advise
- be capable of holding or containing (syn: contain, take)
The flask holds one gallon
- arrange for and reserve (something for someone else) in advance (syn: book, reserve)
please hold a table at Maxim's
- protect against a challenge or attack (syn: defend, guard)
- bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted (syn: bind, obligate, oblige)
I'll hold you by your promise
- hold the attention of
She can hold an audience spellbound
- remain committed to
I hold to these ideas
- resist or confront with resistance (syn: defy, hold up, withstand)
- be pertinent or relevant or applicable (syn: apply)
This theory holds for all irrational numbers
- stop dealing with
hold all calls to the President's office while he is in a meeting
- lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits (syn: check, contain, control, curb, hold in, moderate)
hold your tongue
hold your temper
- keep from departing
- take and maintain control over, often by violent means
- cause to stop (syn: arrest, halt)
- cover as for protection against noise or smell
hold one's nose
- drink alcohol without showing ill effects (syn: carry)
He can hold his liquor
- aim, point, or direct
- declare to be (syn: adjudge, declare)
- be in accord; be in agreement (syn: agree, concord, concur)
I hold with those who say life is sacred
- keep from exhaling or expelling
hold your breath

Extra examples

Hold the rail so you won't fall.

He was holding a large package in his arms.

Would you hold this for me?

She showed him the correct way to hold the racket.

Some people just don't like to be held.

He held her close and kissed her.

He held the pen in his mouth while he dialed the number.

Hold the pen upright when you write.

She picked up the trophy and held it over her head.

You have to hold the button down for several seconds.

The mother was holding the baby in her arms.

He will hold her in his arms and tell her she is finally safe.

He jumped back to try and hold the lift for me.

A pile of sandbags held the bridge.

The glue didn't hold.

Phrasal verbs

hold back  — hold back, as of a danger or an enemy; check the expansion or influence of
hold down  — keep
hold forth  — talk at length and formally about a topic
hold in  — close in
hold off  — resist and fight to a standoff

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Word forms

I/you/we/they: hold
he/she/it: holds
present participle: holding
past tense: held
past participle: held
singular: hold
plural: holds
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