Definition of


  1. (noun, act) the act of grasping
    he has a strong grip for an old man
    she kept a firm hold on the railing
  2. (noun, cognition) understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something
  3. (noun, attribute) power by which something or someone is affected or dominated
  4. (noun, time) time during which some action is awaited
    he ordered a hold in the action
  5. (noun, state) a state of being confined (usually for a short time)
    the prisoner is on hold
    he is in the custody of police
  6. (noun, artifact) a stronghold
  7. (noun, artifact) a cell in a jail or prison
  8. (noun, artifact) the appendage to an object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it
    it was an old briefcase but it still had a good grip
  9. (noun, artifact) the space in a ship or aircraft for storing cargo
  10. (verb, stative) keep in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g.,
    hold in place
    She always held herself as a lady
    The students keep me on my toes
  11. (verb, contact) have or hold in one's hands or grip
    A crazy idea took hold of him
  12. (verb, creation) organize or be responsible for
    have, throw, or make a party
    give a course
  13. (verb, possession) have or possess, either in a concrete or an abstract sense
    He has got two beautiful daughters
    She holds a Master's degree from Harvard
  14. (verb, cognition) keep in mind or convey as a conviction or view
    view as important
    hold these truths to be self-evident
    I hold him personally responsible
  15. (verb, emotion) maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings)
    entertain interesting notions
    harbor a resentment
  16. (verb, contact) to close within bounds, limit or hold back from movement
    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, possession) secure and keep for possible future use or application
    I reserve the right to disagree
  18. (verb, possession) have rightfully; of rights, titles, and offices
    He held the governorship for almost a decade
  19. (verb, contact) be the physical support of; carry the weight of
    He supported me with one hand while I balanced on the beam
    What's holding that mirror?
  20. (verb, stative) contain or hold; have within
    The canteen holds fresh water
    This can contains water
  21. (verb, stative) have room for; hold without crowding
    The theater admits 300 people
    The auditorium can't hold more than 500 people
  22. (verb, stative) remain in a certain state, position, or condition
    They held on the road and kept marching
  23. (verb, contact) support or hold in a certain manner
    He carried himself upright
  24. (verb, stative) be valid, applicable, or true
  25. (verb, cognition) assert or affirm
  26. (verb, stative) have as a major characteristic
    The book holds in store much valuable advise
  27. (verb, stative) be capable of holding or containing
    The flask holds one gallon
  28. (verb, social) arrange for and reserve (something for someone else) in advance
    The agent booked tickets to the show for the whole family
    please hold a table at Maxim's
  29. (verb, competition) protect against a challenge or attack
    Hold the bridge against the enemy's attacks
  30. (verb, communication) bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted
    I'll hold you by your promise
  31. (verb, cognition) hold the attention of
    This story held our interest
    She can hold an audience spellbound
  32. (verb, cognition) remain committed to
  33. (verb, stative) resist or confront with resistance
    The new material withstands even the greatest wear and tear
    The bridge held
  34. (verb, stative) be pertinent or relevant or applicable
    This theory holds for all irrational numbers
    The same rules go for everyone
  35. (verb, stative) stop dealing with
  36. (verb, social) lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
    hold your tongue
    hold your temper
    control your anger
  37. (verb, social) keep from departing
    Hold the horse
  38. (verb, social) take and maintain control over, often by violent means
  39. (verb, motion) cause to stop
    Arrest the progress
    halt the presses
  40. (verb, contact) cover as for protection against noise or smell
    hold one's nose
  41. (verb, consumption) drink alcohol without showing ill effects
    he had drunk more than he could carry
  42. (verb, competition) aim, point, or direct
  43. (verb, communication) declare to be
    judge held that the defendant was innocent
  44. (verb, communication) be in accord; be in agreement
    I can't agree with you!
    I hold with those who say life is sacred
    Both philosophers concord on this point
  45. (verb, body) keep from exhaling or expelling

via WordNet, Princeton University

Antonyms of Hold

let go of

Alternate forms of Hold

Derivations: hold, holder, holding

Hyponyms: abnegate, acknowledge, acquit, admit, arrange, article, ax handle, axe handle, balance, bastardise, bastardize, bate, bear, bear on, beatify, behave, bind, block, bound, brace, bracket, brave, brave out, broom handle, broomstick, buoy, buoy up, call, cancel, canonise, canonize, carry, carry on, catch, certify, chock, choke hold, chokehold, clinch, cling to, clutch, comport, concede, conciliate, conclude, conduct, confine, conquer, conserve, continue, counteract, countercheck, cradle, crop, crucify, curb, damp, deny, deport, distance, embrace, embracement, embracing, enchain, enclose, endure, exert, extension, fetter, fix up, fold, formalise, formalize, grant, grasp, ground, gunstock, haft, helve, hilt, hoe handle, hold, hold close, hold down, hold in, hold on, hold open, hold over, hold tight, house, housekeep, impound, indent, indenture, inhibit, interlace, interlock, judge, keep, keep open, knob, label, limit, lock, maintain, make up, monopolise, monopolize, mop handle, moratorium, mortify, panhandle, patch up, pen up, piggyback, pinion, pledge, poise, pole, pommel, pound, pound up, preserve, pressurise, pressurize, pronounce, prop, prop up, rake handle, reconcile, resolve, restrain, restrict, retain, retardation, saddlebow, saint, save, scaffold, seat, see eye to eye, sense, settle, shackle, shore, shore up, sleep, sling, stamp down, stock, stockpile, stoop, strike down, subdue, subscribe, superannuate, support, suppress, sustain, thermostat, throttle, tie down, tie up, train, trammel, trap, truss, underpin, uphold, weather, wield, wrestling hold, yield

Hypernyms: affirm, aim, appendage, apprehension, assert, aver, avow, be, bear on, becharm, beguile, believe, bespeak, bewitch, booze, break, call for, captivate, capture, catch, cell, charm, come to, command, conceive, concern, confinement, consider, continue, control, cover, defer, direct, disable, discernment, disenable, drink, enamor, enamour, enchant, enclosure, entrance, evaluate, exist, experience, fascinate, fastness, feel, fuddle, go along, go on, grasping, have, have got, have-to doe with, hold, hold back, hold on, hold out, hold over, incapacitate, include, intermission, interruption, jail cell, judge, keep, keep back, pass judgment, pause, pertain, postpone, prehension, prevent, prison cell, proceed, prorogue, protect, put off, put over, quest, reckon, refer, regard, relate, remit, request, resist, restrain, savvy, see, seizing, set back, shelve, stand firm, stop, stronghold, suspension, swan, swear, table, take, take aim, taking hold, think, touch, touch on, train, trance, understanding, verify, view, withstand

Origin of the word Hold

  1. O.E. haldan (Anglian), healdan (W.Saxon), class VII strong verb (past tense heold, pp. healden), from P.Gmc. *khaldanan (cf. O.N. halda, Du. houden, Ger. halten "to hold," Goth. haldan "to tend"), originally "to keep, tend, watch over" (as cattle), later "to have." Ancestral sense is preserved in behold. Holdup,<… more
  2. "space in a ship below the lower deck, in which cargo is stowed," 15c. corruption (infl. by hold (v.)) of O.E. hol "hole," infl. by M.Du. hol "hold of a ship," and M.E. hul, which originally meant both "the hold" and "the hull" of a ship (see hull). more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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