Definition of Hold

Pronunciation: hōld
n.1.(Naut.) The whole interior portion of a vessel below the lower deck, in which the cargo is stowed.
v. t.1.
[imp. & p. p. Held ; p. pr. & vb. n. Holding. Holden ( ), p. p., is obs. 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. 8.
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 had 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.
To hold a wager
to lay or hazard a wager.
To hold forth
a - to offer; to exhibit; to propose; to put forward.
- Swift.
b - To talk at length; to harangue.
- Locke.
To held in
to restrain; to curd.
To hold in hand
to toy with; to keep in expectation; to have in one's power.
O, fie! to receive favors, return falsehoods,
And hold a lady in hand.
- Beaw. & Fl.
v. i.1.In general, to keep one's self in a given position or condition; to remain fixed. Hence:
1.Not to move; to halt; to stop; - mostly in the imperative.
And damned be him that first cries, "Hold, enough!"
- Shak.
2.Not to give way; not to part or become separated; to remain unbroken or unsubdued.
Our force by land hath nobly held.
- Shak.
3.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.
4.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
5.To restrain one's self; to refrain.
His dauntless heart would fain have held
From weeping, but his eyes rebelled.
- Dryden.
6.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 on!
wait; stop; forbear.
To hold forth
to speak in public; to harangue; to preach.
To hold in
to restrain one's self; as, he wanted to laugh and could hardly hold in.
- L'Estrange.
To hold off
to keep at a distance.
To hold on
to keep fast hold; to continue; to go on.
To hold out
to last; to endure; to continue; to maintain one's self; not to yield or give way.
- Swift.
To hold over
to remain in office, possession, etc., beyond a certain date.
To hold to
to take sides with, as a person or opinion.
To hold together
to be joined; not to separate; to remain in union.
To hold up
a - To support one's self; to remain unbent or unbroken; as, to hold up under misfortunes.
- Dryden.
b - To cease raining; to cease to stop; as, it holds up.
c - To keep up; not to fall behind; not to lose ground.
- Hudibras.
n.1.The act of holding, as in or with the hands or arms; the manner of holding, whether firm or loose; seizure; grasp; clasp; grip; 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.
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.

Related Words

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Hoist bridge
Hoisting engine
Hold on!
Hold up
holding company
Holding note
Hole and corner
Hole board
Hole in the air
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