UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈhəʊld/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/hoʊld/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(hōld)

Inflections of 'hold' (v): (⇒ conjugate)
v 3rd person singular
v pres pverb, present participle: -ing verb used descriptively or to form progressive verb--for example, "a singing bird," "It is singing."
v pastverb, past simple: Past tense--for example, "He saw the man." "She laughed."
v past pverb, past participle: Verb form used descriptively or to form verbs--for example, "the locked door," "The door has been locked."

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
hold1 /hoʊld/USA pronunciation   v.,  held/hɛld/USA pronunciation  hold•ing, n. 
  1. to have or keep in the hand;
    grasp:[+ object]I held her hand as we crossed the street.
  2. to bear, sustain, or support with or as if with the hands or arms:[+ object]I held the baby gently.
  3. to maintain a grasp;
    remain together or supported:[no object]The clamp held.
  4. to (cause to) be, stay, or remain in a certain state: [+ object + adjective]The preacher held the audience spellbound.[no object;  ~ + adjective]If you would just hold still, please.[no object]I hope our luck holds.
  5. to conduct;
    carry on:[+ object]to hold an interview.
  6. to detain: [+ object]The police held her for questioning.[+ object + as + object]He was held as a hostage for five years.[+ object + object]They held him a prisoner.
  7. to hinder;
    keep back:[+ object]Please hold your applause.
  8. to set aside;
    reserve:[+ object]Your tickets are being held at the counter.
  9. to possess;
    occupy:[+ object]to hold a position of authority.
  10. to contain or be capable of containing:[+ object;  not: be + ~-ing]This bottle holds a quart.
  11. [not: be + ~-ing] to keep in the mind;believe;have or express the belief of: [+ object]He held an opposing view.[+ that clause]Copernicus held that the earth revolves around the sun.
  12. to agree;
    sympathize:[+ with + object]She doesn't hold with new ideas.
  13. to decide legally:[+ (that) clause;  not: be + ~-ing]The court held that the law was valid.
  14. to regard;
    consider:[+ object + adjective]I hold you responsible for her safety.
  15. to make accountable:[+ object]We will hold you to your word.
  16. to remain valid:[no object;  not: be + ~-ing]The argument still holds.
  17. to keep by force: [+ object]Enemy forces held the hill.[no object]In spite of the shelling their positions held.
  18. to point;
    aim:[+ object]held a gun on the prisoner.
  19. Music and Dance to keep going with;
    sustain:[+ object]The soprano held that high note for fifteen seconds.
  20. to omit, as from an order:[+ object]One burger — hold the pickle.
  21. to keep (a telephone connection) open: [+ object]Can you hold the line for a moment?[no object]Please hold.
  22. to keep (a telephone call) from reaching someone:[+ object]She asked her secretary to hold all her calls.
  23. to control oneself in spite of drinking (liquor):[+ object]He can't hold his liquor.
  24. hold back: 
    • to restrain;
      keep back;
      keep in control: [+ back + object]to hold back tears.[+ object + back]couldn't hold the tears back any longer.
    • to slow down, prevent, or stop the advancement of: [+ object + back]Nothing could hold them back from success.[+ back + object]What could hold back her career now?
    • to keep from giving or revealing;
      withhold: [+ back + object]to hold back information.[+ object + back]holding information back.
    • [no object] to keep from doing or taking action:The police held back from attacking the rioters.
  25. hold down: 
    • to keep under control or at a low level: [+ down + object]to hold down interest rates.[+ object + down]to hold interest rates down.
    • [+ down + object] to continue to function in:to hold down a job.
  26. hold forth, [no object] to speak at great length.
  27. hold off: 
    • to keep at a distance;
      keep back;
      repel: [+ off + object]The troops held off the latest assault.[+ object + off]They held the enemy off.
    • [no object] to postpone action;
      put off plans until later;
      defer:Let's hold off on that proposal for now.
  28. hold on, [no object]
    • to keep a firm grip on something:He took my arm and held on tightly.
    • to keep going;
      continue:The troops can hold on for another few days.
    • to keep a telephone connection open:Can you hold on while I see if he's here?
  29. hold oneself in, [no object] to exercise control or restraint:He held himself in and didn't show his real feelings.
  30. hold out: 
    • [+ out + object] to present;
      offer:When I said hello to them, they held out their hands in greeting.
    • [no object] to continue to last:Will the food hold out?
    • [no object] to refuse to give in:We are holding out for higher wages.
    • [no object] to withhold something expected or due:You'd better not be holding out on me.
  31. hold over: 
    • to keep for future discussion, consideration, or action: [+ object + over]We'll hold that discussion over for our next meeting.[+ over + object]We'll hold over that discussion for later.
    • to keep beyond the arranged period: [+ object + over]to hold a movie over for an extra week.[+ over + object]held over the movie.
  32. hold up: 
    • to support;
      uphold: [+ up + object]What holds up the bridge?[+ object + up]What holds the bridge up?
    • to delay;
      bring to a stop: [+ up + object]Something is holding up the work.[+ object + up]Something held the work up.
    • [no object] to endure;
      continue without losing strength or ability;
      persevere:How are you holding up under the strain?
    • to present for attention;
      display: [+ up + object]to hold up the youngest daughter as a model of good behavior.[+ object + up]to hold her up as a model of good behavior.
    • to rob at gunpoint: [+ up + object]to hold up a store.[+ object + up]He held them up and took their money.

n. [countable]
  1. an act of holding with the hand or other physical means:a good hold on the rope.
  2. something to hold a thing by:climbing up using the toe holds on the mountainside.
  3. something that holds fast or supports something else.
  4. an order reserving something:to put a hold on a library book.
  5. a controlling force or influence:Drugs had a powerful hold on them.
  1. Idiomsget hold of, [+ object]
    • to grasp;
      seize:got hold of the line and pulled.
    • to find or obtain:Where can they get hold of the art supplies they need?
    • to communicate with by telephone:I couldn't get hold of you last week.
  2. Idiomsno holds barred, without limits:It would be a fight to the finish, no holds barred.
  3. Idiomson hold: 
    • into a state of interruption or waiting:The plans were put on hold indefinitely.
    • into a state of being kept waiting by a telephone hold:I've been on hold for a few minutes.

hold•er, n. [countable]
    See contain.

hold2 /hoʊld/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Naval Termsthe cargo space in the hull of a vessel.
  2. Aeronauticsthe cargo compartment of an aircraft.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
hold1  (hōld),USA pronunciation v.,  held;
  or (Archaic) hold•en;

  1. to have or keep in the hand;
    keep fast;
    grasp:She held the purse in her right hand. He held the child's hand in his.
  2. to set aside;
    reserve or retain:to hold merchandise until called for; to hold a reservation.
  3. to bear, sustain, or support, as with the hands or arms, or by any other means.
  4. to keep in a specified state, relation, etc.:The preacher held them spellbound.
  5. to detain:The police held him at the station house.
  6. to engage in;
    preside over;
    carry on:to hold a meeting.
  7. to keep back from action;
    restrain:Fear held him from acting.
  8. to have the ownership or use of;
    keep as one's own;
    occupy:to hold political office.
  9. to contain or be capable of containing:This bottle holds a quart.
  10. to bind or make accountable to an obligation:We will hold you to your promise to pay back the money.
  11. to have or keep in the mind;
    think or believe:We hold this belief.
  12. to regard or consider:to hold a person responsible.
  13. to decide legally.
  14. to consider of a certain value;
    rate:We held her best of all the applicants.
  15. to keep forcibly, as against an adversary:Enemy forces held the hill.
  16. to point, aim, or direct:He held a gun on the prisoner. The firefighter held a hose on the blaze.
  17. Music and Danceto sustain (a note, chord, or rest).
  18. to omit from the usual order or combination:Give me a burger well-done—hold the pickle.

  1. to remain or continue in a specified state, relation, etc.:Hold still while I take your picture.
  2. to remain fast;
    cling:Will this button hold?
  3. to keep or maintain a grasp on something.
  4. to maintain one's position against opposition;
    continue in resistance.
  5. to agree or side (usually fol. by with):to hold with new methods.
  6. Lawto hold property by some tenure;
    derive title (usually fol. by by, from, in, or of ).
  7. to remain attached, faithful, or steadfast (usually fol. by to):to hold to one's purpose.
  8. to remain valid;
    be in force:The rule does not hold.
  9. to refrain or forbear (usually used imperatively).
  10. hold back: 
    • to restrain or check:Police held back the crowd.
    • to retain possession of;
      keep back:He held back ten dollars.
    • to refrain from revealing;
      withhold:to hold back information.
    • to refrain from participating or engaging in some activity:He held back from joining in the singing because he felt depressed.
    • Photographydodge (def. 2).
  11. hold down: 
    • to restrain;
      check:Hold down that noise!
    • to continue to hold and manage well:She held down that job for years.
  12. hold forth: 
    • to extend or offer;
    • to talk at great length;
      harangue:When we left, he was still holding forth on World War II.
  13. hold in: 
    • to restrain;
    • to contain oneself;
      exercise restraint:He was raging inside, but held himself in for fear of saying something he would regret.
  14. hold off: 
    • to keep at a distance;
    • to postpone action;
      defer:If you hold off applying for a passport, you may not get one in time.
  15. hold on: 
    • to keep a firm grip on.
    • to keep going;
    • to maintain, as one's opinion or position.
    • to stop;
      halt (usually used imperatively):Hold on now! That isn't what I meant at all.
    • to keep a telephone connection open by not hanging up the receiver:The operator asked us to hold on while the number we'd dialed was being checked.
  16. Idiomshold one's own. See  own (def. 5).
  17. Idiomshold one's peace. See  peace (def. 12).
  18. Idiomshold one's tongue. See  tongue (def. 25).
  19. hold out: 
    • to present;
    • to stretch forth;
      extend:Hold out your hand.
    • to continue to exist;
      last:Will the food hold out?
    • to refuse to yield or submit:The defenders held out for weeks.
    • to withhold something expected or due:He was suspected of holding out information important to the case.
  20. hold over: 
    • to keep for future consideration or action;
    • to remain in possession or in office beyond the regular term.
    • to remain beyond the arranged period:The movie was held over for a week.
    • Music and Danceto prolong (a tone) from one measure to the next.
  21. hold up: 
    • to offer;
      give:She held up his father as an example to follow.
    • to present to notice;
      expose:to hold someone up to ridicule.
    • to hinder;
      delay:The plane's departure was held up because of the storm.
    • to stop by force in order to rob.
    • to support;
      uphold:to hold up farm prices.
    • to stop;
      halt:They held up at the gate.
    • to maintain one's position or condition;
      endure:They held up through all their troubles.
  22. hold water. See  water (def. 17).
  23. hold with: 
    • to be in agreement with;
      concur with:I don't hold with his pessimistic views.
    • to approve of;
      condone:They won't hold with such a travesty of justice.

  1. an act of holding fast by a grasp of the hand or by some other physical means;
    grip:Take hold. Do you have a hold on the rope?
  2. something to hold a thing by, as a handle;
    something to grasp, esp. for support.
  3. something that holds fast or supports something else.
  4. an order reserving something:to put a hold on a library book.
  5. Stock Exchange, Business[Finance.]a security purchased or recommended for long-term growth.
  6. a controlling force or dominating influence:to have a hold on a person.
  7. Sport[Wrestling.]a method of seizing an opponent and keeping him in control:a toe hold.
  8. Music and Dancefermata.
  9. a pause or delay, as in a continuing series:a hold in the movements of a dance.
  10. a prison or prison cell.
  11. a receptacle for something:a basket used as a hold for letters.
  12. Rocketrya halt in the prelaunch countdown, either planned or unexpectedly called, to allow correction of one or more faults in the rocket or missile.
  13. a fortified place;
  14. Telecommunications(on telephones with two or more lines) a feature that enables a person to maintain a connection on one line while answering another line.
  15. Idiomsget hold of: 
    • to get a hold on:Get hold of the railing.
    • to communicate with, esp. by telephone:If she's not at home, try to get hold of her at the office.
  16. Idiomsno holds barred, without limits, rules, or restraints.
  17. Telecommunications, Idiomson hold: 
    • in or into a state of temporary interruption or suspension:The project will be put on hold until funds become available.
    • Telecommunicationsin or into a state of temporary interruption in a telephone connection:I'm putting you on hold to answer another call.Cf. call waiting.
holda•ble, adj. 
  • bef. 900; Middle English holden, Old English h(e)aldan; cognate with Old Frisian, Old Norse halda, Old Saxon, Gothic haldan, Old High German haltan (German halten)
    • 8.See corresponding entry in Unabridged possess, own. See  have. 
    • 9.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  contain. 
    • 11.See corresponding entry in Unabridged embrace, espouse, have. See  maintain. 
    • 12.See corresponding entry in Unabridged deem, esteem, judge.
    • 19.See corresponding entry in Unabridged persist, last, endure.
    • 20.See corresponding entry in Unabridged stick.

hold2  (hōld),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Nautical
    • Naval Termsthe entire cargo space in the hull of a vessel.
    • Naval Termsthe cargo space in the hull of a vessel between the lowermost deck and the bottom.
    • Naval Termsany individual compartment of such cargo spaces, closed by bulkheads and having its own hatchway.
  2. Aeronautics[Aviation.]the cargo compartment of an aircraft.
  • 1585–95; variant of hole; cognate with Dutch hol hole, hold

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
hold /həʊld/ vb (holds, holding, held /hɛld/)
  1. to have or keep (an object) with or within the hands, arms, etc; clasp
  2. (transitive) to support or bear: to hold a drowning man's head above water
  3. to maintain or be maintained in a specified state or condition: to hold one's emotions in check, hold firm
  4. (transitive) to set aside or reserve: they will hold our tickets until tomorrow
  5. (when intr, usually used in commands) to restrain or be restrained from motion, action, departure, etc: hold that man until the police come
  6. (intransitive) to remain fast or unbroken: that cable won't hold much longer
  7. (intransitive) (of the weather) to remain dry and bright
  8. (transitive) to keep the attention of
  9. (transitive) to engage in or carry on: to hold a meeting
  10. (transitive) to have the ownership, possession, etc, of: he holds a law degree from London, who's holding the ace of spades?
  11. (transitive) to have the use of or responsibility for: to hold the office of director
  12. (transitive) to have the space or capacity for: the carton will hold only eight books
  13. (transitive) to be able to control the outward effects of drinking beer, spirits, etc
  14. often followed by to or by: to remain or cause to remain committed to: hold him to his promise, he held by his views in spite of opposition
  15. (tr; takes a clause as object) to claim: he holds that the theory is incorrect
  16. (intransitive) to remain relevant, valid, or true: the old philosophies don't hold nowadays
  17. (transitive) to regard or consider in a specified manner: I hold him very dear
  18. (transitive) to guard or defend successfully: hold the fort against the attack
  19. (sometimes followed by on) to sustain the sound of (a note) throughout its specified duration
  20. (transitive) to retain (data) in a storage device after copying onto another storage device or onto another location in the same device
  21. hold for, hold good forto apply or be relevant to: the same rules hold for everyone
  22. there is no holding himhe is so spirited or resolute that he cannot be restrained
  1. the act or method of holding fast or grasping, as with the hands
  2. something to hold onto, as for support or control
  3. an object or device that holds fast or grips something else so as to hold it fast
  4. controlling force or influence: she has a hold on him
  5. a short delay or pause
  6. a prison or a cell in a prison
  7. a way of seizing one's opponent
  8. a pause or fermata
  9. a tenure or holding, esp of land
  10. (in combination): leasehold, freehold, copyhold
  11. archaic a fortified place
  12. no holds barredall limitations removed

See also hold back, hold down, hold forth, hold in, hold off, hold on, hold out, hold over, hold-up, hold withEtymology: Old English healdan; related to Old Norse halla, Gothic haldan, German halten

ˈholdable adj
hold /həʊld/ n
  1. the space in a ship or aircraft for storing cargo
Etymology: 16th Century: variant of hole
'hold' also found in these entries:
Collocations: hold [his, her mother's] hand, a [tight, strong] hold, a no-holds-barred fight, more...

Forum discussions with the word(s) "hold" in the title:

Look up "hold" at Merriam-Webster
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