- To have and keep in one's grasp: held the reins tightly.
- To aim or direct; point: held a hose on the fire.
- To keep from falling or moving; support: a nail too small to hold the mirror; hold the horse steady; papers that were held together with staples.
- To sustain the pressure of: The old bridge can't hold much weight.
- To keep from departing or getting away: Hold the bus! Hold the dog until I find the leash.
- To keep in custody: held the suspect for questioning.
- To retain (one's attention or interest): Televised sports can't hold my interest.
- To avoid letting out or expelling: The swimmer held her breath while underwater.
- To be filled by; contain.
- To be capable of holding. See Synonyms at contain.
- To have as a chief characteristic or quality: The film holds many surprises.
- To have in store: Let's see what the future holds.
- To have and maintain in one's possession: holds a great deal of property.
- To have as a responsible position or a privilege: held the governorship for six years.
- To have in recognition of achievement or superiority: holds the record for the one-mile race; holds the respect of her peers.
- To maintain control over: Thieves held the stolen painting for ransom.
- To maintain occupation of by force or coercion: Protesters held the embassy for a week.
- To withstand the efforts or advance of (an opposing team, for example).
- To maintain in a given condition, situation, or action: The storyteller held the crowd spellbound.
- To impose control or restraint on; curb: She held her temper.
- To stop the movement or progress of: Hold the presses!
- To reserve or keep back from use: Please hold two tickets for us. Hold the relish on that hamburger.
- To defer the immediate handling of: The receptionist held all calls during the meeting.
- To be the legal possessor of.
- To bind by a contract.
- To adjudge or decree: The court held that the defendant was at fault.
- To make accountable; obligate: He held me to my promise.
- To keep in the mind or convey as a judgment, conviction, or point of view: holds that this economic program is the only answer to high prices.
- To assert or affirm, especially formally: This doctrine holds that people are inherently good.
- To regard in a certain way: I hold you in high esteem.
- To cause to take place; carry on: held the race in Texas; hold a yard sale.
- To assemble for and conduct the activity of; convene: held a meeting of the board.
- To carry or support (the body or a bodily part) in a certain position: Can the baby hold herself up yet? Hold up your leg.
- To cover (the ears or the nose, for example) especially for protection: held my nose against the stench.
- To maintain a grasp or grip on something.
- To stay securely fastened: The chain held.
- To maintain a desired or accustomed position or condition: hopes the weather will hold.
- To withstand stress, pressure, or opposition: The defense held. We held firm on the negotiations.
- To continue in the same direction: The ship held to an easterly course.
- To be valid, applicable, or true: The observation still holds in cases like this.
- To have legal right or title. Often used with of or from.
- To halt an intended action. Often used in the imperative.
- To stop the countdown during a missile or spacecraft launch.
- Slang To have in one's possession illicit or illegally obtained material or goods, especially narcotics: The suspect was holding.
- The act or a means of grasping.
- A manner of grasping an opponent, as in wrestling or aikido: a neck hold; an arm hold.
- Something that may be grasped or gripped, as for support.
- A control or adjustor on a television that keeps the screen image in proper position: adjusted the horizontal hold.
- A telephone service that allows one to temporarily interrupt a call without severing the connection.
- A bond or force that attaches or restrains, or by which something is affected or dominated: a writer with a strong hold on her readership.
- Complete control: has a firm hold on the complex issues.
- Full understanding: has a good hold on physics.
- Music The sustaining of a note longer than its indicated time value.
- Music The symbol designating this pause; a fermata.
- A direction or indication that something is to be reserved or deferred.
- A temporary halt, as in a countdown.
- A prison cell.
- The state of being in confinement; custody.
- Archaic A fortified place; a stronghold.
- hold back To retain in one's possession or control: held back valuable information; held back my tears.
- hold back To impede the progress of.
- hold back To restrain oneself.
- hold down To limit: Please hold the noise down.
- hold down To fulfill the duties of (a job): holds down two jobs.
- hold forth To talk at great length.
- hold off To keep at a distance; resist: held the creditors off.
- hold off To stop or delay doing something: Let's hold off until we have more data.
- hold on To maintain one's grip; cling.
- hold on To continue to do something; persist.
- hold on To wait for something wanted or requested, especially to keep a telephone connection open.
- hold out To present or proffer as something attainable.
- hold out To continue to be in supply or service; last: Our food is holding out nicely.
- hold out To continue to resist: The defending garrison held out for a month.
- hold out To refuse to reach or satisfy an agreement.
- hold over To postpone or delay.
- hold over To keep in a position or state from an earlier period of time.
- hold over To continue a term of office past the usual length of time.
- hold over To prolong the engagement of: The film was held over for weeks.
- hold to To remain loyal or faithful to: She held to her resolutions.
- hold up To obstruct or delay.
- hold up To rob while armed, often at gunpoint.
- hold up To offer or present as an example: held the essay up as a model for the students.
- hold up To continue to function without losing force or effectiveness; cope: managed to hold up under the stress.
- hold with To agree with; support: I don't hold with your theories.
- get hold of To come into possession of; find: Where can I get hold of a copy?
- get hold of To communicate with, as by telephone: tried to get hold of you but the line was busy.
- get hold of To gain control of. Often used reflexively: You must get hold of yourself!
- hold a candle to To compare favorably with: This film doesn't hold a candle to his previous ones.
- hold (one's) end up To fulfill one's part of an agreement; do one's share.
- hold (one's) own To do reasonably well despite difficulty or criticism.
- hold out on (someone) To withhold something from: Don't hold out on me; start telling the truth.
- hold (someone's) feet to the fire To pressure (someone) to consent to or undertake something.
- hold sway To have a controlling influence; dominate.
- hold the bag Informal To be left with empty hands.
- hold the bag Informal To be forced to assume total responsibility when it ought to have been shared.
- hold the fort Informal To assume responsibility, especially in another's absence.
- hold the fort Informal To maintain a secure position.
- hold the line To maintain the existing position or state of affairs: had to hold the line on salary increases.
- hold the phone Slang To stop doing what one is engaged in doing. Often used in the imperative: Hold the phone! Let's end this argument.
- hold water To stand up to critical examination: Your explanation doesn't hold water.
- no holds barred Without limits or restraints.
- on hold Into a state of temporary interruption without severing a telephone connection: put me on hold for 10 minutes.
- on hold Informal Into a state of delay or indeterminate suspension: had to put the romance on hold.
- The lower interior part of a ship or airplane where cargo is stored.
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