Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “hold sb/sth back”

See all translations

hold sb/sth back

verb uk phrasal verb with hold   /həʊld/ us    /hoʊld/ (held, held)

(STOP DEVELOPMENT)

C2 to stop someone or something developing or doing as well as they should: She felt that having children would hold her back.

(STOP MOVEMENT)

C1 If you hold someone or something back, you stop him, her, or it from coming or moving forward: Sandbags will hold the flood waters back for a while.
(Definition of hold sb/sth back from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of hold sb/sth back?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “hold sb/sth back” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hard luck story

a story or piece of information that someone tells you or writes about himself or herself, intended to make you feel feel sympathy for that person

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More