Meaning of “hold sth back” - Learner’s Dictionary

hold sth back

phrasal verb with hold uk us /həʊld/ verb (past tense and past participle held)
CONTROL EMOTION

to stop yourself showing an emotion:

She couldn't hold back the tears.
NOT SAY

to not give information to someone

(Definition of “hold sth back” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)