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hold Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the act of grasping
    grip; clutches; clutch; clench; grasp; clasp.
    • he released his clasp on my arm
    • he has a strong grip for an old man
    • she kept a firm hold on the railing
  2. noun understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something
    grasp; appreciation.
    • he has a good grasp of accounting practices
  3. noun power by which something or someone is affected or dominated
    • he has a hold over them
  4. noun time during which some action is awaited
    delay; postponement; time lag; wait.
    • instant replay caused too long a delay
    • he ordered a hold in the action
  5. noun a state of being confined (usually for a short time)
    detention; custody; detainment.
    • his detention was politically motivated
    • the prisoner is on hold
    • he is in the custody of police
  6. noun a stronghold
  7. noun a cell in a jail or prison
  8. noun the appendage to an object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it
    grip; handgrip; handle.
    • he grabbed the hammer by the handle
    • it was an old briefcase but it still had a good grip
  9. noun the space in a ship or aircraft for storing cargo
    storage area; cargo area; cargo hold; cargo deck.
  10. verb keep in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., "keep clean"
    maintain; keep.
    • hold in place
    • She always held herself as a lady
    • The students keep me on my toes
  11. verb have or hold in one's hands or grip
    take hold.
    • Hold this bowl for a moment, please
    • A crazy idea took hold of him
  12. verb organize or be responsible for
    make; throw; have; give.
    • hold a reception
    • have, throw, or make a party
    • give a course
  13. verb have or possess, either in a concrete or an abstract sense
    have got; have.
    • She has $1,000 in the bank
    • He has got two beautiful daughters
    • She holds a Master's degree from Harvard
  14. verb keep in mind or convey as a conviction or view
    take for; deem; view as.
    • take for granted
    • view as important
    • hold these truths to be self-evident
    • I hold him personally responsible
  15. verb maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings)
    harbor; entertain; nurse; harbour.
    • bear a grudge
    • entertain interesting notions
    • harbor a resentment
  16. verb to close within bounds, limit or hold back from movement
    confine; restrain.
    • This holds the local until the express passengers change trains
    • About a dozen animals were held inside the stockade
    • The illegal immigrants were held at a detention center
    • The terrorists held the journalists for ransom
  17. verb secure and keep for possible future use or application
    retain; keep back; hold back.
    • The landlord retained the security deposit
    • I reserve the right to disagree
  18. verb have rightfully; of rights, titles, and offices
    • She bears the title of Duchess
    • He held the governorship for almost a decade
  19. verb be the physical support of; carry the weight of
    support; sustain; hold up.
    • The beam holds up the roof
    • He supported me with one hand while I balanced on the beam
    • What's holding that mirror?
  20. verb contain or hold; have within
    carry; bear; contain.
    • The jar carries wine
    • The canteen holds fresh water
    • This can contains water
  21. verb have room for; hold without crowding
    accommodate; admit.
    • This hotel can accommodate 250 guests
    • The theater admits 300 people
    • The auditorium can't hold more than 500 people
  22. verb remain in a certain state, position, or condition
    • The weather held
    • They held on the road and kept marching
  23. verb support or hold in a certain manner
    carry; bear.
    • She holds her head high
    • He carried himself upright
  24. verb be valid, applicable, or true
    prevail; obtain.
    • This theory still holds
  25. verb assert or affirm
    • Rousseau's philosophy holds that people are inherently good
  26. verb have as a major characteristic
    • The novel holds many surprises
    • The book holds in store much valuable advise
  27. verb be capable of holding or containing
    take; contain.
    • This box won't take all the items
    • The flask holds one gallon
  28. verb arrange for and reserve (something for someone else) in advance
    book; reserve.
    • reserve me a seat on a flight
    • The agent booked tickets to the show for the whole family
    • please hold a table at Maxim's
  29. verb protect against a challenge or attack
    defend; guard.
    • Hold that position behind the trees!
    • Hold the bridge against the enemy's attacks
  30. verb bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted
    oblige; bind; obligate.
    • He's held by a contract
    • I'll hold you by your promise
  31. verb hold the attention of
    • The soprano held the audience
    • This story held our interest
    • She can hold an audience spellbound
  32. verb remain committed to
    • I hold to these ideas
  33. verb resist or confront with resistance
    withstand; defy; hold up.
    • The politician defied public opinion
    • The new material withstands even the greatest wear and tear
    • The bridge held
  34. verb be pertinent or relevant or applicable
    apply; go for.
    • The same laws apply to you!
    • This theory holds for all irrational numbers
    • The same rules go for everyone
  35. verb stop dealing with
    • hold all calls to the President's office while he is in a meeting
  36. verb lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
    control; moderate; hold in; curb; contain; check.
    • moderate your alcohol intake
    • hold your tongue
    • hold your temper
    • control your anger
  37. verb keep from departing
    • Hold the taxi
    • Hold the horse
  38. verb take and maintain control over, often by violent means
    • The dissatisfied students held the President's office for almost a week
  39. verb cause to stop
    arrest; halt.
    • Halt the engines
    • Arrest the progress
    • halt the presses
  40. verb cover as for protection against noise or smell
    • She held her ears when the jackhammer started to operate
    • hold one's nose
  41. verb drink alcohol without showing ill effects
    • He can hold his liquor
    • he had drunk more than he could carry
  42. verb aim, point, or direct
    • Hold the fire extinguisher directly on the flames
  43. verb declare to be
    adjudge; declare.
    • She was declared incompetent
    • judge held that the defendant was innocent
  44. verb be in accord; be in agreement
    concur; agree; concord.
    • We agreed on the terms of the settlement
    • I can't agree with you!
    • I hold with those who say life is sacred
    • Both philosophers concord on this point
  45. verb keep from exhaling or expelling
    • hold your breath

Hold noun
D. hol hole, hollow. See Hole.
  1. (Naut.) The whole interior portion of a vessel below the lower deck, in which the cargo is stowed.
Hold transitive verb
OE. haldan, D. houden, OHG. hoten, Icel. halda, Dan. holde, Sw. hålla, Goth. haldan to feed, tend (the cattle); of unknown origin. Gf. Avast, Halt, Hod.
imperfect & past participle Held ; present participle & verbal noun Holding Holden past participle , is obsolete in elegant writing, though still used in legal language
  1. To cause to remain in a given situation, position, or relation, within certain limits, or the like; to prevent from falling or escaping; to sustain; to restrain; to keep in the grasp; to retain.
    The loops held one curtain to another. Ex. xxxvi. 12.
    Thy right hand shall hold me. Ps. cxxxix. 10.
    They all hold swords, being expert in war. Cant. iii.
    In vain he seeks, that having can not hold. Spenser.
    France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue, . . . A fasting tiger safer by the tooth, Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold. Shak.
  2. To retain in one's keeping; to maintain possession of, or authority over; not to give up or relinquish; to keep; to defend.
    We mean to hold what anciently we claim Of deity or empire. Milton.
  3. To have; to possess; to be in possession of; to occupy; to derive title to; as, to hold office.
    This noble merchant held a noble house. Chaucer.
    Of him to hold his seigniory for a yearly tribute. Knolles.
    And now the strand, and now the plain, they held. Dryden.
  4. To impose restraint upon; to limit in motion or action; to bind legally or morally; to confine; to restrain.
    We can not hold mortality's strong hand. Shak.
    Death! what do'st? O,hold thy blow. Grashaw.
    He hat not sufficient judgment and self-command to hold his tongue. Macaulay.
  5. To maintain in being or action; to carry on; to prosecute, as a course of conduct or an argument; to continue; to sustain.
    Hold not thy peace, and be not still. Ps. lxxxiii. 1.
    Seedtime and harvest, heat and hoary frost, Shall hold their course. Milton.
  6. To prosecute, have, take, or join in, as something which is the result of united action; as to, hold a meeting, a festival, a session, etc.; hence, to direct and bring about officially; to conduct or preside at; as, the general held a council of war; a judge holds a court; a clergyman holds a service.
    I would hold more talk with thee. Shak.
  7. To receive and retain; to contain as a vessel; as, this pail holds milk; hence, to be able to receive and retain; to have capacity or containing power for.
    Broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jer. ii. 13.
    One sees more devils than vast hell can hold. Shak.
  8. To accept, as an opinion; to be the adherent of, openly or privately; to persist in, as a purpose; to maintain; to sustain.
    Stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught. 2 Thes. ii.15.
    But still he held his purpose to depart. Dryden.
  9. To consider; to regard; to esteem; to account; to think; to judge.
    I hold him but a fool. Shak.
    I shall never hold that man my friend. Shak.
    The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Ex. xx. 7.
  10. To bear, carry, or manage; as he holds himself erect; he holds his head high.
    Let him hold his fingers thus. Shak.
Hold noun i
  1. In general, to keep one's self in a given position or condition; to remain fixed. Hence:
  2. Not to more; to halt; to stop;-mostly in the imperative.
    And damned be him that first cries, "Hold, enough!" Shak.
  3. Not to give way; not to part or become separated; to remain unbroken or unsubdued.
    Our force by land hath nobly held. Shak.
  4. Not to fail or be found wanting; to continue; to last; to endure a test or trial; to abide; to persist.
    While our obedience holds. Milton.
    The rule holds in land as all other commodities. Locke.
  5. Not to fall away, desert, or prove recreant; to remain attached; to cleave;-often with with, to, or for.
    He will hold to the one and despise the other. Matt. vi. 24
  6. To restrain one's self; to refrain.
    His dauntless heart would fain have held From weeping, but his eyes rebelled. Dryden.
  7. To derive right or title; -- generally with of.
    My crown is absolute, and holds of none. Dryden.
    His imagination holds immediately from nature. Hazlitt.
Hold noun
  1. The act of holding, as in or with the hands or arms; the manner of holding, whether firm or loose; seizure; grasp; clasp; gripe; possession; -- often used with the verbs take and lay.
    Ne have I not twelve pence within mine hold. Chaucer.
    Thou should'st lay hold upon him. B. Jonson.
    My soul took hold on thee. Addison.
    Take fast hold of instruction. Pror. iv. 13.
  2. The authority or ground to take or keep; claim.
    The law hath yet another hold on you. Shak.
  3. Binding power and influence.
    Fear . . . by which God and his laws take the surest hold of. Tillotson.
  4. Something that may be grasped; means of support.
    If a man be upon an high place without rails or good hold, he is ready to fall. Bacon.
  5. A place of confinement; a prison; confinement; custody; guard.
    They . . . put them in hold unto the next day. Acts. iv. 3.
    King Richard, he is in the mighty hold Of Bolingbroke. Shak.
  6. A place of security; a fortified place; a fort; a castle; -- often called a stronghold. Chaucer.
    New comers in an ancient hold Tennyson.
  7. (Mus.) A character [thus ] placed over or under a note or rest, and indicating that it is to be prolonged; -- called also pause, and corona.

Webster 1913