Meaning of HOLD in English


I. ˈhōld dial sometimes -lt verb

( held ˈheld ; or dialect past hilt ˈhilt ; held or archaic hold·en ˈhōldən ; holding ; holds ˈhōl(d)z)

Etymology: Middle English holden, from Old English healdan, haldan; akin to Old High German haltan to hold, Old Norse halda, Gothic haldan to tend cattle, Latin celer rapid, Greek kellein to run a ship to land, Sanskrit kālayati he drives, holds, carries

transitive verb


a. : to retain in one's keeping : maintain possession of : not give up or relinquish : possess , have

held property worth millions

hold several slaves as household servants

holds the title to the property

holds the power to hire or fire at will

b. : to retain or occupy by force : defend and not retreat from

the soldiers held the bridge against all attacks

c. : to keep control of or authority or jurisdiction over

wished to hold the territory because of the fur trade

d. : to have power over : affect strongly and unremittingly

a pleasurable excitement held him — D.G.Gerahty

invalidism held him for eight years — J.C.Archer

e. : to have possession of the privileges, benefits, or perquisites of

holds the eastern seaboard under an authorization granted by the manufacturer of the goods

f. : to use or keep as a threat or as a means of gaining advantage

2. : to impose restraint upon or limit in motion or action

the bushing held the drive shaft so that it had no play whatsoever


a. : to refrain from producing (as speech or noise)

hold your talk, man


(1) : to keep back : not loose : not let go

hold the dogs so the strangers can pass

(2) : stay , arrest

hold him with a glance

a strange compunction held his hand as he raised it to strike

tried to hold him from an action he would always regret

(3) : delay

held the curtain for an hour until the arrival of the royal carriage at the theater

(4) : to stop the action of usually temporarily

time must be allowed … for holding the press while waiting for the sheet to dry — F.W.Hoch


(1) : to keep from advancing or succeeding in attack

were able to hold the enemy

(2) : to keep (as an opposing team) from gaining an advantage

the weaker team held the stronger during the first half

d. : to restrict or limit (as in amount of variation, advance, gain, loss) by acting to control or oppose

held the sound to one level of loudness

held the army to only a few miles' gain

held the opposing team to only two runs

e. : to bind legally or morally : constrain

hold a man to his word

— often used with an adjective complement

hold a man responsible for his actions

hold the men accountable for all money spent

f. Scotland : to oppress by affliction : keep down : hold down

g. : detain

held him in conversation for ten minutes before letting him go

h. : restrict , limit

bouts have been held to three 1 1/2-minute rounds — Barrett McGurn

i. : to tense muscles in order to brace (oneself)

had to hold himself against the swaying and bumping of the coach

j. : to keep (a herd of cattle) together in a unit

out holding the herd while the rest were eating

3. obsolete : to abide by (as a promise) or keep inviolate (as a faith)


a. : to have or keep in the grasp

hold a child's hand

hold a pocketbook tightly

this volume is a joy to hold as well as to read — J.M.Chase


(1) : to keep as if in a grasp : cause to be or remain in a particular situation, position, or relation, within certain limits, or of a particular quality

hold a person in suspense

hold an emotion under rigid control

hold a ladder steady

hold a child in check

hold himself in readiness

the stern demands of necessity held men in their grip — V.L.Parrington

the searchlight … caught and held them in its glare — Nevil Shute

(2) : to place and usually not allow to move

hold a pad of gauze to a wound

hold your hand against my cheek

: fix

held his eyes steadily on the picture


(1) : support , sustain

the building was held by concrete underpinning

roof will hold a deadweight of 94 inches of snow — Monsanto Magazine

holds his seventy-two years easily

(2) : to keep (as a bank of dirt) from eroding, collapsing, or washing away

pines and other hardy trees were planted to hold the sand — George Farwell


(1) : retain

struggling to hold , or to capture, the allegiance of the British people — F.A.Ogg & Harold Zink

the parents still hold the children's affection

the suit holds its press well

a plastic that will hold any shape you press it into

: to retain by not vomiting

unable to take a bite of food or hold it on his stomach when it was forced upon him — F.B.Gipson

: retain by not discharging

the metal held the electrical charge for a long time

(2) : to keep in custody : keep as a prisoner

the cops agreed that the death was accidental, and did not hold him — Time


(1) : to have in one's keeping : store

another consideration was the cost of storing type — we certainly could not afford to hold it forever — B.L.Stratton

: keep on file or record

the title is held at the registry of deeds

(2) : reserve

called the hotel and asked them to hold a room for him

held a few seats in case some visiting celebrities turned up

f. : bear , carry , comport

something unbending and strong, peasantlike, in the way he holds himself — Madaleine Chapsal


(1) : to maintain in being or action : keep up without interruption, diminution, or flagging : sustain , preserve

hold one's course due north

hold silence

(2) : to maintain in a given condition (as of temperature, pressure, or humidity) or stage of processing

(3) : to maintain a given condition in

(4) : to maintain the articulation of (a speech sound) or the production of (as a note in music)

the vowel in feet is not held as long as the vowel in feed

h. : to keep the uninterrupted interest, attention, or devotion of : keep from other interests, attractions, or places

the play held the audience for over three hours

a community that … holds young people and offers inducements to them to stay and help build a greater hometown — J.C.Penney

newspaper editing did not hold him long — A.H.Meneely

wants to hold her husband while resisting his domination — H.M.Parshley

i. : to keep (as a letter or package) from being delivered usually temporarily

asked the post office to hold his mail until he returned

j. : to cover (the ears) so as to prevent hearing

when I spoke she held her ears — Eudora Welty

k. : to constitute or provide adequate satisfaction for

enough food to hold him for a week

had had enough of high causes and noble sacrifice to hold them for a long time — F.L.Allen


(1) : not to veer or alter from

the car held 70 miles an hour for 20 miles

prices had held the same level for a month

had trouble holding his course

(2) : to be free of marked bouncing, swerving, or skidding on

a car that holds the road well at any speed

m. : to make an exhibition of or call persistently to one's consciousness

trying to entertain his audience by holding his betters to ridicule

n. : to fix on and not turn away from

for a few minutes the flashlight held the canoe, then lost it — Erle Stanley Gardner



(1) : to receive and retain

the can holds gasoline

: have within : contain

the cemetery which held the bodies of his family for seven generations back

the room held only Victorian furniture

the envelope which held his ticket — J.P.Marquand

(2) : to have or retain within its limits as if in a container

throw into a word every trace of meaning it can hold — C.S.Kilby

the cast held some noted singers

could hold large quantities of verse in his mind without effort

(3) : to keep within moderate bounds the characteristic intoxicating effects of (an alcoholic liquor)

drank heavily but held it well


(1) : to be able or designed to receive and retain or contain

a special container to hold flammable liquids

the basket that held outgoing mail was empty

(2) : accommodate

the hotel could hold over 300 guests

sleeping platforms ran the length of the side walls in two tiers, holding eight men — Meridel Le Sueur

c. : to be marked or characterized by as an essential feature

the volume held an historical rather than a literary interest

its steeply pitched gable roof holds one dormer — American Guide Series: Maryland

a scene that held many fond memories for him

the famous hymn of creation … holds an awesome vastness of mood — Emma Hawkridge

d. : to provide or have in reserve as a reward

the story holds a happy ending for everybody

the tournament holds a nice prize for the winner

would like to know what the future holds


a. : harbor , experience

hold a feeling

a nation for whom we all hold a good deal of admiration

holds no sympathy for criminals

b. : accept

hold a point of view

: believe

hold a theory

hold opposing opinions

: subscribe to

the aesthetic philosophy we happen to hold — C.I.Glicksberg


(1) : consider , regard , think , judge

held that the action was dishonest

held calculus to be too difficult for that age group

held by many to be the greatest contemporary tennis player

the expression of those truths held to be self-evident — F.B.Millett

(2) : to decide in a judicial ruling

the court held that the man was sane

(3) : esteem , value

the story is that he held it so lightly that he lost the land on one turn of the cards — American Guide Series: North Carolina

d. : to have or maintain in judgment or regard

hold someone in contempt

hold a parent in honor


a. : to engage in with someone else or with others : do by concerted action

the student body held games in the afternoon

b. : convoke , convene

the king held an assembly of all his courtiers

the second court session was held in the afternoon

: arrange for and have in a united action

the company held a feast to celebrate victory

: schedule and assemble or meet

some classes were held in the evening


a. : to be or stand in (as a relative position)

holds second place in the city golf tournament

urban redevelopment continues to hold an important place in planning programs — Collier's Year Book

b. : to have earned or been appointed, promoted, or elected to and now occupy (as an office)

holds a captaincy in the navy

holds a secretaryship in the club

held the presidency for two terms

c. : to have earned or been awarded (as an academic degree)

holds an M.D. from one of the best medical schools

holds a German Ph.D.

holds a medal of honor

9. now dialect Britain : bet , wager


a. obsolete : to handle so as to guide or manage (as reins or a gun)

b. : point , aim , direct — used with on

held a gun on the grocer while an accomplice robbed the till

11. obsolete : to endure or bear up under (as rough handling or invidious comparison)

intransitive verb


a. : to maintain position : not retreat : remain unconquered or unsubdued

the troops held in the face of repeated attacks


(1) : to continue or remain especially as is or of the same kind or quality : last

winter held until the middle of March

his anger held for several days

the output of copper held at the level of the year before

hoping that the good weather would hold

: not change or alter

we can go if the present circumstances hold

our luck held and we won

the habit of a lifetime held — John Buchan

— often used with up

the good weather held up for several days

(2) : to endure a test or trial

their courage held against all odds

— often used with up

if his interest holds up


a. : to maintain a grasp on or a connection with something : remain fastened to something (as by a strap) : keep hold

the anchor held in the rough sea

: not slip : not lose a grip : cling

felt his rubber soles grip and hold

b. of a female mammal : to hold to service : conceive

3. : to derive right or title (as to the possession of lands or as land to be held) — usually used with of or from

held of the crown by an outright gift

4. : to bear or carry oneself

a man who held aloof from strangers

asked the boy to hold still

5. : to be or remain valid : apply

the rule holds only in special cases

: prove consistent or acceptable to reason or logic

the theory does not hold under analysis

6. : to go ahead : continue as one has been going

the travelers held on their way

held south for several miles

: not veer or fluctuate in progress or forward movement

the plane held steadily on its course by automatic control

7. : to restrain or withhold oneself : cease or forbear an intended or threatened action : halt , stop , pause

wished that he might hold a while and stop his incessant chatter

8. : to take place

went … to the place where the funeral service was holding — John Bennett

annual show and sale of highland ponies holds on Monday — Scotsman

9. : to pause in archery between drawing and loosing an arrow

10. : to hold copy (as in proofreading)

Synonyms: see contain , have , keep

- hold a brief

- hold a brief for

- hold a candle to

- hold a close wind

- hold book

- hold bottom

- hold by

- hold copy

- hold court

- hold down a claim

- hold everything

- hold fire

- hold good

- hold hands

- hold in demesne

- hold one's breath

- hold one's ground

- hold one's horses

- hold one's own

- hold one's peace

- hold one's tongue

- hold tack with

- hold the bag

- hold the boards

- hold the field

- hold the fort

- hold the line

- hold the market

- hold the stage

- hold the wind

- hold to

- hold to account

- hold to service

- hold true

- hold up one's head

- hold water

- hold with

II. ˈhōld, dial often -lt noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English hold, holde hold, possession, land that is held, property, from Old English heald, hald protection, keeping, from healdan, haldan to hold


a. : a place of temporary shelter or refuge ; also : a lair or a lurking place (as of a fish)

b. : stronghold


a. : confinement , custody

b. : a place of confining : prison



(1) : the act or the manner of holding or grasping (as in the hands or arms)

released his hold on the man's arm

has a strong hold for a small man

: grasp

took a firm hold on the club

: clasp , grip

in his arms his hold was tight and reassuring

— often used idiomatically without an article as object of catch, get, have, seize, take

got hold of the oar and was pulled out of the water

seized hold as the rope brushed his fingers

held out a hand and waited until the child took hold

took hold of the knob and opened the door

the boy's sneakers suddenly took hold and stopped him from sliding off the roof

saw that the climber had hold of the rope before he began to haul on it

(2) : a manner of grasping an opponent in wrestling

knee holds and body presses


(1) : a nonphysical bond, grip, or clasp which attaches, restrains, or constrains or by or through which something is affected, controlled, dominated, or possessed — often used with on, upon, or over

afraid they might lose their hold on the domestic market — Sydney (Australia) Bulletin

yet the hold of the public school upon the middle-class mind has not weakened — Roy Lewis & Angus Maude

the father had a strong hold over his children

and often used idiomatically without an article as object of catch, get, have, seize, take

the newspapers got hold of the story

after a moment of panic he got hold of himself

seized hold and stepped up production 50 percent

in the confusion of contradictory ideas we did not know what philosophy he had hold of

(2) : an action, expedient, or device for achieving an end

arguing that in … politics no holds are barred — New Republic

c. : conscious grasp : full comprehension — used with on or upon

at the point of sleep one loses his hold on the real world

how weak was his hold upon character — Roger Fry

4. : something that may be grasped as a support

climbed up the rock using some ledges and jutting pieces as holds

5. : a pause between the completion of the draw and the release of the arrow in archery


a. : fermata

b. : a rhythmic lengthening of a word or syllable or a symbol used to indicate this

c. : the time between the onset and the release of a vocal articulation

7. : a sudden motionless posture at the end of a dance or dance phrase


a. : an order or indication that something is to be reserved

put a hold on all the hotel rooms still unoccupied

b. : an order or indication that some action is to be delayed

announced a hold on all takeoffs until the weather cleared

c. : a notation on a depositor's account to indicate that the balance or a portion thereof should not be paid out

d. : a recommendation indicating that a stock has long-term and fundamental values but is not considered a desirable present purchase for near-term appreciation

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: from (assumed) Middle English hold, alteration (probably influenced by Middle English hold ) (II) of Middle English hole (I)


a. : the interior of a ship below decks ; especially : the cargo deck of a ship

b. : the interior of a plane ; especially : the cargo compartment of a plane


a. : a division of the interior especially the cargo deck of a ship

b. : a division of the interior of a plane especially for cargo

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Old English, from Old Norse hölthr free landowner, man; akin to Old English hæle, hæleth man, hero, Old Saxon helith man, hero, Old Norse halr man, and perhaps to Sanskrit kalya healthy — more at calli-

: an officer of high rank in the Danelaw corresponding to the high reeve of the Anglo-Saxons

V. noun

: a delay in a countdown (as in launching a missile)

- on hold

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.