Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “hold”


verb (KEEP)    /həʊld/ US  /hoʊld/ (held, held)
C1 [T] to keep something, especially when it might have been lost: I asked the shop to hold the dress for me until this afternoon. You have to be a fairly good speaker to hold an audience's attention/interest.Keeping and storing things B2 [T] to keep someone in a place so that they cannot leave: The police are holding several people in custody (= at the police station) for questioning. [+ obj + noun ] The terrorists held him hostage for 18 months. I was held prisoner in a tiny attic room.Putting people in prisonArresting and charging
(Definition of hold verb (KEEP) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of hold

Definitions of “hold” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


an ability to do things in the stated, especially positive, way

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More