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English definition of “hold sb/sth back”

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.Delaying and wasting time

(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.Preventing and impedingLimiting and restricting
(Definition of hold sb/sth back from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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