hold Meaning in Cambridge American English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of "hold" - American English Dictionary

See all translations


 us   /hoʊld/ (past tense and past participle held  /held/ )

hold verb (TAKE FIRMLY)

[I/T] to take and keep something in your hand or arms: [T] The nurse held the child in her arms. [I] Hold tight (= firmly) to the railing. [I/T] If you hold your nose, you press your nose tightly between thumb and finger to close it.hold hands When two people hold hands, each one takes the other person’s hand in his or her hand, esp. to show affection.

hold verb (MOVE AWAY)

[always + adv/prep] to move something away from your body: [M] Rosie held an apple out to the horse. [M] Close your eyes and hold out your hands. [M] All those who agree, please hold your hand up.

hold verb (KEEP IN PLACE)

[always + adv/prep] to keep something in a particular place or position: [M] Could you hold the door open for me, please? [M] I can’t fasten this skirt unless I hold my stomach in (= keep it tight with my muscles so that it does not stick out). [M] Each wheel is held on by/with four bolts. [M] Individual parts are held together with glue. [I] Hold still (= Do not move)!

hold verb (CONTINUE)

[I/T] to continue or cause to continue in the same way as before: [I] If the weather holds, we can go sailing. [T] The ship held its course. [T] She seemed to hold the note she was singing for more than a minute.holds true If something holds true, it continues to be true: Einstein’s theories still hold true today.

hold verb (DELAY)

[I/T] to stop something from happening, or to delay something temporarily: [T] How long can you hold your breath? [I/T] Someone on the telephone who asks you to hold wants you to wait until that person or someone else can speak to you: [I] Her line is busy, would you like to hold? [I/T] If you hold something that is usually included in food, you do not include it: [T] I’d like a salad, but hold the dressing.


[T] to support or contain something or be able to contain or support it: This bottle holds exactly one pint. Modern computers can hold (= store) huge amounts of information. Will the rope be strong enough to hold the weight?holds promise If something holds promise, it is likely to be successful: The new drug holds promise for relieving chronic pain.

hold verb (CONTROL)

[T] to keep control or possession of something: His speech held the audience’s attention for over an hour. He was held prisoner for three days. After many days of fighting, the rebels now hold the town. The champion held the lead until the last lap. [T] If someone who committed a crime is held, that person is kept guarded in a police station. [T] If you hold a job or a financial account, you have it: He currently holds the position of managing editor. She holds three different accounts with the same bank.

hold verb (CAUSE TO HAPPEN)

[T] to organize or cause a meeting, election, or social event to happen: The election will be held on the 8th of November. We’re holding our annual New Year’s Day party again.

hold verb (BELIEVE)

[T] to believe an idea or opinion to be correct, or to state that something is true: He holds unpopular views on many subjects. I hold him responsible for the damage to my car. [+ that clause] Murphy’s law holds that if anything can go wrong, it probably will.


 us   /hoʊld/

hold noun (FIRM SUPPORT)

[U] the act of taking and keeping something in your hand or arms, or the way you do this: Don’t lose hold of the dog’s leash. If you can get/grab/take hold of that end of the box, I’ll take this end and we’ll lift it.

hold noun (DELAY)

on hold If something is on hold, it is intentionally delayed: The space launch is on hold until the weather clears. If you are on hold when using the telephone, you are waiting to speak to someone: His line is busy – can I put you on hold?

hold noun (CONTROL)

[U] control or power over something or someone: The team is strengthening its hold on first place. She has a strong hold on her daughters.

hold noun (SPACE)

[C] the space in a ship or aircraft where goods are carried


[C] (in some sports) a position in which one person prevents another from moving: In karate, beginners learn several simple holds.
(Definition of hold from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of hold?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “hold” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

to go past someone in a race who has been round the track one less time than you

Word of the Day

Are you a glass-half-full person? (Everyday Idioms)
Are you a glass-half-full person? (Everyday Idioms)
by Kate Woodford,
July 29, 2015
A reader of this blog recently asked for a post on idioms that are used in everyday English. This seemed like a reasonable request. After all, if you are going to make the effort to learn a set of English idioms, you want those idioms to be useful. The question, then, was

Read More 

exoskeleton noun
exoskeleton noun
July 27, 2015
a robotic device which goes around the legs and part of the body of a person who cannot walk and allows them to move independently and in an upright position The device, known as an exoskeleton, is strapped to the outside of a person’s limbs and can then be controlled by them.

Read More