from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To have and keep in one's grasp.
  • intransitive verb To aim or direct; point.
  • intransitive verb To keep from falling or moving; support.
  • intransitive verb To sustain the pressure of.
  • intransitive verb To keep from departing or getting away.
  • intransitive verb To keep in custody.
  • intransitive verb To retain (one's attention or interest).
  • intransitive verb To avoid letting out or expelling.
  • intransitive verb To be filled by; contain.
  • intransitive verb To be capable of holding: synonym: contain.
  • intransitive verb To have as a chief characteristic or quality.
  • intransitive verb To have in store.
  • intransitive verb To have and maintain in one's possession.
  • intransitive verb To have as a responsible position or a privilege.
  • intransitive verb To have in recognition of achievement or superiority.
  • intransitive verb To maintain control over.
  • intransitive verb To maintain occupation of by force or coercion.
  • intransitive verb To withstand the efforts or advance of (an opposing team, for example).
  • intransitive verb To maintain in a given condition, situation, or action.
  • intransitive verb To impose control or restraint on; curb.
  • intransitive verb To stop the movement or progress of.
  • intransitive verb To reserve or keep back from use.
  • intransitive verb To defer the immediate handling of.
  • intransitive verb To own or have title to.
  • intransitive verb To be in possession of, whether legally entitled or not.
  • intransitive verb To bind by a contract.
  • intransitive verb To adjudge or decree.
  • intransitive verb To make accountable; obligate.
  • intransitive verb To keep in the mind or convey as a judgment, conviction, or point of view.
  • intransitive verb To assert or affirm, especially formally.
  • intransitive verb To regard in a certain way.
  • intransitive verb To cause to take place; carry on.
  • intransitive verb To assemble for and conduct the activity of; convene.
  • intransitive verb To carry or support (the body or a bodily part) in a certain position.
  • intransitive verb To cover (the ears or the nose, for example) especially for protection.
  • intransitive verb To maintain a grasp or grip on something.
  • intransitive verb To stay securely fastened.
  • intransitive verb To maintain a desired or accustomed position or condition.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English holden, from Old English healdan.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration (influenced by hold) of Middle English hole, husk, hull of a ship, from Old English hulu; see kel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English hold, holde, from Old English hold ("gracious, friendly, kind, favorable, true, faithful, loyal, devout, acceptable, pleasant"), from Proto-Germanic *hulþaz (“favourable, gracious, loyal”), from Proto-Indo-European *kel- (“to tend, incline, bend, tip”). Cognate with German hold ("gracious, friendly, sympathetic, grateful"), Danish and Swedish huld ("fair, kindly, gracious"), Icelandic hollur ("faithful, dedicated, loyal"), German Huld ("grace, favour").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English holden, from Old English healdan, from Proto-Germanic *haldanan ‘to tend, herd’, from Proto-Indo-European *kel- ‘to drive’ (compare Latin celer ("quick"), Tocharian B kälts ("to goad, drive"), Ancient Greek κέλλω (kellō, "to drive"), Sanskrit kaláyati ("he impels")). Cognate to West Frisian hâlde, Dutch houden, Low German holen, German halten, Danish holde.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alteration (due to hold) of hole. Cognate with Dutch hol ("hole, cave, den, cavity, cargo hold").


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  • I was not entirely sure that I should be able to hold my own with him, but I at least had the purpose made to do as well as I could upon him; and now I say that I will not be the first to cry “hold.

    Sixth Joint Debate at Quincy. Mr. Lincoln's Speech 1897

  • Without saying anything of my intentions to any one, I mounted the railing, and taking hold of the centre rope, just below the upper block, I put one foot on the hook below the lower block, and stepped off just as I did so some one called out “hold on.

    Chapter IV 1885

  • * puts me on hold for 5 minutes -I still have the customer on hold*

    Teknikcal support, - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger? 2008

  • He's being held by Mary Landrieu, who admits that her hold is about the White House's moratorium on offshore drilling, not about Lew, who she says “clearly possesses the expertise necessary to serve as one of the President's most important economic advisors.”

    The Senate becomes a little more broken Ezra Klein 2010

  • "Despite The Post's claim to the contrary, my hold is absolutely related to Mr. Lew and the position he seeks," Landrieu wrote in response.

    Landrieu explains why she's blocking Lew Ed O 2010

  • In other areas where that process is already being done, they're in what they call a hold and rebuild phase, where they're trying to get that sort of trust with the local population.

    CNN Transcript Aug 30, 2006 2006

  • And then increasingly he got what he called a hold on himself.

    Cytherea Joseph Hergesheimer 1917

  • I would rate Ford a short term hold with a medium to long term buy.

    unknown title 2011

  • That being said, the insights and answers provided in this title hold true to biblical statements concerning the evidence of God found throughout creation and His people, and should be acceptable within all major denominational bents.

    All articles at Blogcritics 2009

  • Instead, a "hold" is shorthand for a promise to obstruct all further consideration of a particular piece of Senate business. explanation of how this works came from David Waldman, and I encourage you to read it in full.

    The Moderate Voice 2010


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  • I use my phone's HOLD button to put callers into a submissive stupor of helplessness.

    October 15, 2008