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English definition of “hold back (something)”

hold back (something)

phrasal verb with hold    /hoʊld/ verb (past tense and past participle held  /held/)
to stop something from happening or advancing, or to keep someone from doing something: She held back from interfering in their arguments. Sandbags will hold back the flood waters for a while. He admitted that something had gone wrong, but he held back the details (= stopped himself from telling the complete truth).
(Definition of hold back (something) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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