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English definition of “hold sb/sth back”

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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)
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