Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “hold”

hold

verb
 
 
/həʊld/ (past tense and past participle held)
IN HAND [T] A2 to have something in your hand or arms: He was holding a glass of wine. She held the baby in her arms. They were holding hands and kissing.Having in your hands
KEEP IN POSITION [T] B1 to keep something in a particular position: Can you hold the door open please? Hold your hand up if you know the answer. The frame was held together with screws. They held a gun to his head.Limiting and restrictingPreventing and impeding
ORGANIZE [T] B1 to organize an event: to hold talks/an electionManaging and organizing
CONTAIN [T] B1 to contain something or to be able to contain a particular amount of something: The bucket holds about 10 litres.Keeping and storing thingsIncluding and containingComprising and consisting of
JOB OR QUALIFICATION [T] to have a particular job, position, or qualification: She held the post of treasurer.Jobs, careers and professionsWorkingSchool and vocational qualifications
COMPETITION [T] to have a particular position in a competition: to hold the world record to hold the leadCompeting and contending (non-sporting)Competing in sportCompetitions, and parts of competitions
STORE [T] to store documents, information, etc in a particular place: The documents are held in the local library.Keeping and storing things
PRISONER [T] B2 to keep someone as a prisoner: Police held the suspect overnight. The hijackers are holding them hostage/prisoner.Putting people in prisonArresting and charging
ARMY [T] If soldiers hold a place, they control it: Rebel troops held the village.Controlling and being in charge
hold an opinion/belief/view to believe something: They held the view that it was wrong to smack children.Believing
hold a conversation to have a conversationInformal talking and conversation
hold sb's attention/interest to keep someone interested in something: The film held my attention from beginning to end.Exciting and interesting
TELEPHONE [I, T] to wait on the telephone until someone can speak to you: Her line's busy. Would you like to hold? Hold the line, please.WaitingStaying and remainingCommunicating by telephone
NOT BREAK [I] to not break: The rope held.Having in your hands
Hold it! informal used to tell someone to wait or stop doing something: Hold it! I've forgotten my coat.Preventing and impedingLimiting and restrictingExpressions telling people to stop doing something
hold shares to own shares (= small, equal parts of the value of a company) Financial investments and the stock market
hold your breath B2 to intentionally stop breathing for a timeBreathing and stopping breathing to wait for something to happen, often feeling anxiousPlanning, expecting and arrangingPlotting and trappingWaitingStaying and remaining
hold your nose to close your nose with your fingers to avoid smelling something unpleasant → See also hold your ownSmells and smellingGestures with the hands or arms
(Definition of hold verb from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “hold” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

see the light of day

When something sees the light of day, it appears for the first time.

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More