hold

If you grasp something in your hands, you hold it. Be careful when you hold the puppy — he's so wriggly, and you wouldn't want to drop him!

Hold also means to keep from exhaling. If you forget to hold your breath when you go underwater, you're sure to come up sputtering. The noun hold means the cargo area on a ship or airplane. When you check your bag, it's stored in the hold of the plane during the flight. If you packed your book and your snacks in it, it might make more sense to hold onto it instead.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: hold

1
vn
have or hold in one's hands or grip
the act of grasping
2
vn
keep in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., "keep clean"
a state of being confined (usually for a short time)
3
vn
maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings)
understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: hold
1

v have or hold in one's hands or grip

Hold this bowl for a moment, please”
“A crazy idea took hold of him”
Synonyms:
take hold
Antonyms:
let go, let go of, release, relinquish
release, as from one's grip
Types:
show 11 types...
hide 11 types...
grasp, hold on
hold firmly
cling to, clutch, hold close, hold tight
hold firmly, usually with one's hands
cradle
hold gently and carefully
clinch
hold a boxing opponent with one or both arms so as to prevent punches
interlace, interlock, lock
hold in a locking position
trap
hold or catch as if in a trap
cradle
hold or place in or as if in a cradle
latch on
take hold of or attach to
cling, hang
hold on tightly or tenaciously
clasp
hold firmly and tightly
cuddle, draw close, nest, nestle, nuzzle, snuggle
move or arrange oneself in a comfortable and cozy position

v cover as for protection against noise or smell

“She held her ears when the jackhammer started to operate”
hold one's nose”
Type of:
cover
provide with a covering or cause to be covered

v aim, point, or direct

Hold the fire extinguisher directly on the flames”
Type of:
aim, direct, take, take aim, train
point or cause to go (blows, weapons, or objects such as photographic equipment) towards

v be the physical support of; carry the weight of

“The beam holds up the roof”
“What's holding that mirror?”
Synonyms:
hold up, support, sustain
Types:
show 13 types...
hide 13 types...
scaffold
provide with a scaffold for support
block
support, secure, or raise with a block
carry
bear or be able to bear the weight, pressure,or responsibility of
chock
support on chocks
buoy, buoy up
keep afloat
pole
support on poles
bracket
support with brackets
underpin
support from beneath
prop, prop up, shore, shore up
support by placing against something solid or rigid
truss
support structurally
brace
support by bracing
bolster
prop up with a pillow or bolster
tread
brace (an archer's bow) by pressing the foot against the center

v support or hold in a certain manner

“She holds her head high”
Synonyms:
bear, carry
Types:
show 11 types...
hide 11 types...
sling
hold or carry in a sling
stoop
carry oneself, often habitually, with head, shoulders, and upper back bent forward
piggyback
support on the back and shoulders
balance, poise
hold or carry in equilibrium
acquit, bear, behave, carry, comport, conduct, deport
behave in a certain manner
juggle
hold with difficulty and balance insecurely
fluster
be flustered; behave in a confused manner
assert, put forward
insist on having one's opinions and rights recognized
deal
behave in a certain way towards others
walk around
behave in a certain manner or have certain properties
pose, posture
behave affectedly or unnaturally in order to impress others

v contain or hold; have within

“The canteen holds fresh water”
Synonyms:
bear, carry, contain
contain, take
be capable of holding or containing
Types:
show 7 types...
hide 7 types...
retain
hold back within
confine, enclose, hold in
close in; darkness enclosed him"
border, bound
form the boundary of; be contiguous to
embank
enclose with banks, as for support or protection
rail, rail in
enclose with rails
box in, box up
enclose or confine as if in a box
frame
enclose in a frame, as of a picture
Type of:
include
have as a part, be made up out of

v have room for; hold without crowding

“The auditorium can't hold more than 500 people”
Synonyms:
accommodate, admit
contain, take
be capable of holding or containing
Types:
sleep
be able to accommodate for sleeping
house
contain or cover
seat
be able to seat

v be capable of holding or containing

“The flask holds one gallon”
Synonyms:
contain, take
bear, carry, contain
contain or hold; have within
accommodate, admit
have room for; hold without crowding
Type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v have or possess, either in a concrete or an abstract sense

“She holds a Master's degree from Harvard”
Synonyms:
have, have got
feature, have
have as a feature
Types:
show 22 types...
hide 22 types...
keep, maintain, sustain
supply with necessities and support
hold on, keep
retain possession of
keep
look after; be the keeper of; have charge of
keep, maintain
maintain for use and service
keep
have as a supply
monopolise, monopolize
have or exploit a monopoly of
exert, maintain, wield
have and exercise
carry, stock, stockpile
have on hand
bear
have rightfully; of rights, titles, and offices
carry
have or possess something abstract
patronage
support by being a patron of
reseed
maintain by seeding without human intervention
carry over, hold over
hold over goods to be sold for the next season
deny, refuse
refuse to let have
deduct, recoup, withhold
retain and refrain from disbursing; of payments
preserve, save
to keep up and reserve for personal or special use
conserve, keep up, maintain, preserve
keep in safety and protect from harm, decay, loss, or destruction
hive away, lay in, put in, salt away, stack away, stash away, store
keep or lay aside for future use
store
find a place for and put away for storage
hold back, keep back, retain
secure and keep for possible future use or application
harbor, harbour
keep in one's possession; of animals
carry
keep up with financial support

v have rightfully; of rights, titles, and offices

“He held the governorship for almost a decade”
Synonyms:
bear
Type of:
have, have got
have or possess, either in a concrete or an abstract sense

v have as a major characteristic

“The novel holds many surprises”
“The book holds in store much valuable advise”
Type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v hold the attention of

“The soprano held the audience”
“This story held our interest”
“She can hold an audience spellbound”
Type of:
becharm, beguile, bewitch, captivate, capture, catch, charm, enamor, enamour, enchant, entrance, fascinate, trance
attract; cause to be enamored

v drink alcohol without showing ill effects

“He can hold his liquor”
Synonyms:
carry
Type of:
booze, drink, fuddle
consume alcohol

n the act of grasping

“she kept a firm hold on the railing”
Synonyms:
clasp, clench, clutch, clutches, grasp, grip
Types:
show 12 types...
hide 12 types...
choke hold, chokehold
a restraining hold; someone loops the arm around the neck of another person in a tight grip, usually from behind
embrace, embracement, embracing
the act of clasping another person in the arms (as in greeting or affection)
wrestling hold
a hold used in the sport of wrestling
cuddle, nestle, snuggle
a close and affectionate (and often prolonged) embrace
clinch, hug, squeeze
a tight or amorous embrace
bear hug
a wrestling hold with arms locked tightly around the opponent
nelson
any of several wrestling holds in which an arm is passed under the opponent's arm from behind and the hand exerts pressure on the back of the neck
Japanese stranglehold
a wrestling hold in which the opponent's arms are crossed in front of his own neck to exert pressure on his windpipe
lock
any wrestling hold in which some part of the opponent's body is twisted or pressured
scissor grip, scissor hold, scissors, scissors grip, scissors hold
a wrestling hold in which you wrap your legs around the opponents body or head and put your feet together and squeeze
stranglehold
a wrestling hold in which the arms are pressed against the opponent's windpipe
toehold
a wrestling hold in which the toe is held and the leg is twisted against the joints
Type of:
grasping, prehension, seizing, taking hold
the act of gripping something firmly with the hands (or the tentacles)

n the space in a ship or aircraft for storing cargo

Synonyms:
cargo area, cargo deck, cargo hold, storage area
Type of:
enclosure
a structure consisting of an area that has been enclosed for some purpose

n a stronghold

Type of:
fastness, stronghold
a strongly fortified defensive structure

n a cell in a jail or prison

Synonyms:
keep
Type of:
cell, jail cell, prison cell
a room where a prisoner is kept

n the appendage to an object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it

Synonyms:
grip, handgrip, handle
Types:
show 21 types...
hide 21 types...
ax handle, axe handle
the handle of an ax
broom handle, broomstick
the handle of a broom
crop
the stock or handle of a whip
haft, helve
the handle of a weapon or tool
hilt
the handle of a sword or dagger
hoe handle
the handle of a hoe
knob
a round handle
mop handle
the handle of a mop
panhandle
the handle of a pan
pommel, saddlebow
handgrip formed by the raised front part of a saddle
pommel
a handgrip that a gymnast uses when performing exercises on a pommel horse
rake handle
the handle of a rake
stock
the handle end of some implements or tools
gunstock, stock
the handle of a handgun or the butt end of a rifle or shotgun or part of the support of a machine gun or artillery gun
basket hilt
a hilt with a basket-shaped guard for the hand
bitstock, brace
a carpenter's tool having a crank handle for turning and a socket to hold a bit for boring
butt, butt end
thick end of the handle
doorhandle, doorknob
a knob used to release the catch when opening a door (often called `doorhandle' in Great Britain)
horn, saddle horn
a high pommel of a Western saddle (usually metal covered with leather)
pistol grip
a handle (as of a gun or saw) shaped like the butt of a pistol
stop
(music) a knob on an organ that is pulled to change the sound quality from the organ pipes
Type of:
appendage
a part that is joined to something larger

n power by which something or someone is affected or dominated

“he has a hold over them”
Type of:
control
power to direct or determine
2

v keep in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., "keep clean"

hold in place”
“She always held herself as a lady”
Synonyms:
keep, maintain
Types:
show 12 types...
hide 12 types...
pressurise, pressurize
maintain a certain pressure
bear on, carry on, continue, preserve, uphold
keep or maintain in unaltered condition; cause to remain or last
hold over
keep in a position or state from an earlier period of time
conserve
keep constant through physical or chemical reactions or evolutionary change
preserve
keep undisturbed for personal or private use for hunting, shooting, or fishing
distance
keep at a distance
housekeep
maintain a household; take care of all business related to a household
re-start, restart, resume
take up or begin anew
hang in, hang on, hold on, persevere, persist
be persistent, refuse to stop
perpetuate
cause to continue or prevail
keep up, prolong, sustain
lengthen or extend in duration or space
mummify
preserve while making lifeless

v secure and keep for possible future use or application

Synonyms:
hold back, keep back, retain
Types:
hold down
keep
Type of:
hold on, keep
retain possession of

v arrange for and reserve (something for someone else) in advance

“please hold a table at Maxim's”
Synonyms:
book, reserve
reserve
obtain or arrange (for oneself) in advance
Types:
hold open, keep, keep open, save
retain rights to
Type of:
bespeak, call for, quest, request
express the need or desire for; ask for

v organize or be responsible for

hold a reception”
Synonyms:
give, have, make, throw
Type of:
direct
be in charge of

v take and maintain control over, often by violent means

“The dissatisfied students held the President's office for almost a week”
Synonyms
defend, guard
protect against a challenge or attack
Type of:
command, control
exercise authoritative control or power over

v protect against a challenge or attack

Hold that position behind the trees!”
Hold the bridge against the enemy's attacks”
Synonyms:
defend, guard
Type of:
protect
shield from danger, injury, destruction, or damage

v lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits

hold your tongue”
hold your temper”
Synonyms:
check, contain, control, curb, hold in, moderate
Types:
show 37 types...
hide 37 types...
bound, confine, limit, restrain, restrict, throttle, trammel
place limits on (extent or access)
conquer, curb, inhibit, stamp down, subdue, suppress
to put down by force or authority
damp
restrain or discourage
crucify, mortify, subdue
hold within limits and control
abnegate, deny
deny oneself (something); restrain, especially from indulging in some pleasure
restrict
place under restrictions; limit access to
train
cause to grow in a certain way by tying and pruning it
catch
check oneself during an action
bate
moderate or restrain; lessen the force of
thermostat
control the temperature with a thermostat
counteract, countercheck
oppose or check by a counteraction
blink, blink away, wink
force to go away by blinking
reduce, tighten
narrow or limit
tie
limit or restrict to
gate
restrict (school boys') movement to the dormitory or campus as a means of punishment
draw a line, draw the line
reasonably object (to) or set a limit (on)
mark off, mark out
set boundaries to and delimit
harness, rein, rule
keep in check
baffle, regulate
check the emission of (sound)
cramp, halter, hamper, strangle
prevent the progress or free movement of
dampen, stifle
smother or suppress
choke back, choke down, choke off
suppress
constrain, stiffen, tighten, tighten up
restrict
clamp down, crack down
repress or suppress (something regarded as undesirable)
hush, hush up, quieten, shut up, silence, still
cause to be quiet or not talk
inhibit
limit the range or extent of
burke
get rid of, silence, or suppress
silence
keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure
quell, quench, squelch
suppress or crush completely
constrain, cumber, encumber, restrain
hold back
muffle, repress, smother, stifle, strangle
conceal or hide
mortify
practice self-denial of one's body and appetites
classify
declare unavailable, as for security reasons
taboo
declare as sacred and forbidden
trellis
train on a trellis, as of a vine
scant, skimp
limit in quality or quantity
localise, localize
restrict something to a particular area
Type of:
hold back, keep, keep back, restrain
keep under control; keep in check

v keep from exhaling or expelling

hold your breath”
Type of:
hold back, keep, keep back, restrain
keep under control; keep in check

v keep from departing

Hold the taxi”
Hold the horse”
Type of:
keep, prevent
stop (someone or something) from doing something or being in a certain state

v to close within bounds, limit or hold back from movement

“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”
Synonyms:
confine, restrain
Types:
show 13 types...
hide 13 types...
bind, tie down, tie up, truss
secure with or as if with ropes
fetter, shackle
restrain with fetters
enchain
restrain or bind with chains
pinion, shackle
bind the arms of
impound, pound
place or shut up in a pound
pound, pound up
shut up or confine in any enclosure or within any bounds or limits
fold, pen up
confine in a fold, like sheep
ground
confine or restrict to the ground
chain up
tie up with chains
faggot, faggot up, fagot
bind or tie up in or as if in a faggot
faggot, fagot
fasten together rods of iron in order to heat or weld them
hog-tie
tie together somebody's limbs
cuff, handcuff, manacle
confine or restrain with or as if with manacles or handcuffs
Type of:
disable, disenable, incapacitate
make unable to perform a certain action

v bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted

“He's held by a contract”
“I'll hold you by your promise”
Synonyms:
bind, obligate, oblige
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
pledge
bind or secure by a pledge
article
bind by a contract; especially for a training period
indent, indenture
bind by or as if by indentures, as of an apprentice or servant
tie down
restrain from independence by an obligation
Type of:
relate
have or establish a relationship to

v stop dealing with

hold all calls to the President's office while he is in a meeting”
Type of:
defer, hold over, postpone, prorogue, put off, put over, remit, set back, shelve, table
hold back to a later time

v cause to stop

Synonyms:
arrest, halt
Type of:
stop
cause to stop

v remain in a certain state, position, or condition

“The weather held
“They held on the road and kept marching”
Type of:
continue, go along, go on, keep, proceed
continue a certain state, condition, or activity

v be valid, applicable, or true

“This theory still holds
Synonyms:
obtain, prevail
Type of:
be, exist
have an existence, be extant

v be pertinent or relevant or applicable

“This theory holds for all irrational numbers”
Synonyms:
apply, go for
apply, lend oneself
be applicable to; as to an analysis
Type of:
bear on, come to, concern, have-to doe with, pertain, refer, relate, touch, touch on
be relevant to

v resist or confront with resistance

“The bridge held
Synonyms:
defy, hold up, withstand
Types:
brave, brave out, endure, weather
face and withstand with courage
Type of:
hold out, resist, stand firm, withstand
stand up or offer resistance to somebody or something

n a state of being confined (usually for a short time)

“the prisoner is on hold
Synonyms:
custody, detainment, detention
Type of:
confinement
the state of being confined

n time during which some action is awaited

“he ordered a hold in the action”
Synonyms:
delay, postponement, time lag, wait
Types:
extension
a mutually agreed delay in the date set for the completion of a job or payment of a debt
moratorium
a legally authorized postponement before some obligation must be discharged
retardation
the extent to which something is delayed or held back
Type of:
break, intermission, interruption, pause, suspension
a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
3

v maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings)

Synonyms:
entertain, harbor, harbour, nurse
Type of:
experience, feel
undergo an emotional sensation or be in a particular state of mind

v assert or affirm

“Rousseau's philosophy holds that people are inherently good”
Synonyms
deem, take for, view as
keep in mind or convey as a conviction or view
Type of:
affirm, assert, aver, avow, swan, swear, verify
to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true

v keep in mind or convey as a conviction or view

hold these truths to be self-evident”
“I hold him personally responsible”
Synonyms:
deem, take for, view as
Type of:
consider, reckon, regard, see, view
deem to be

v declare to be

“judge held that the defendant was innocent”
Synonyms:
adjudge, declare
Types:
show 31 types...
hide 31 types...
acknowledge, admit
declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of
superannuate
declare to be obsolete
bastardise, bastardize
declare a child to be illegitimate
certify
declare legally insane
call
declare in the capacity of an umpire or referee
beatify
declare (a dead person) to be blessed; the first step of achieving sainthood
canonise, canonize, saint
declare (a dead person) to be a saint
judge, label, pronounce
pronounce judgment on
cancel, strike down
declare null and void; make ineffective
formalise, formalize
make formal or official
ritualise, ritualize
make or evolve into a ritual
attorn
acknowledge a new land owner as one's landlord
write off
concede the loss or worthlessness of something or somebody
annul, countermand, lift, overturn, repeal, rescind, reverse, revoke, vacate
cancel officially
make no bones about
acknowledge freely and openly
sustain
admit as valid
concede, confess, profess
admit (to a wrongdoing)
confess
confess to God in the presence of a priest, as in the Catholic faith
confess, fink, squeal
confess to a punishable or reprehensible deed, usually under pressure
avouch, avow
admit openly and bluntly; make no bones about
acquit, assoil, clear, discharge, exculpate, exonerate
pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
convict
find or declare guilty
tout
advertize in strongly positive terms
find, rule
decide on and make a declaration about
qualify
pronounce fit or able
disqualify
declare unfit
remit
release from (claims, debts, or taxes)
intonate, intone
speak carefully, as with rising and falling pitch or in a particular tone
write off
cancel (a debt)
annul, avoid, invalidate, nullify, quash, void
declare invalid
recall
make unavailable; bar from sale or distribution
Type of:
evaluate, judge, pass judgment
form a critical opinion of

v be in accord; be in agreement

“I hold with those who say life is sacred”
Synonyms:
agree, concord, concur
agree
achieve harmony of opinion, feeling, or purpose
Antonyms:
differ, disagree, dissent, take issue
be of different opinions
Types:
show 14 types...
hide 14 types...
settle
end a legal dispute by arriving at a settlement
conciliate, make up, patch up, reconcile, settle
come to terms
see eye to eye
be in agreement
concede, grant, yield
be willing to concede
subscribe, support
adopt as a belief
conclude, resolve
reach a conclusion after a discussion or deliberation
arrange, fix up
make arrangements for
determine, settle, square off, square up
settle conclusively; come to terms
appease, propitiate
make peace with
forgive
stop blaming or grant forgiveness
firm up
arrange firmly
make peace
end hostilities
concord
arrange by concord or agreement
settle
dispose of; make a financial settlement

v remain committed to

“I hold to these ideas”
Type of:
believe, conceive, consider, think
judge or regard; look upon; judge

n understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something

Synonyms:
appreciation, grasp
Types:
sense
a natural appreciation or ability
Type of:
apprehension, discernment, savvy, understanding
the cognitive condition of someone who understands
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES