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English definition of “hold”

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/həʊld/ (held, held)
[T] to have something, especially a position or money, or to control something: hold power/control The CEO holds power only as long as the directors approve of his methods.hold a stake/an interest/shares The bank holds an interest in the real estate company.hold a position/job/post Before taking his present post, he held the position of chief financial regulator.hold a mortgage/loan She holds the mortgage, so she has the right to foreclose on the property.hold the rights to sth Who holds the rights to screen these games?hold a patent The world's largest biotech firm holds patents on the DNA sequences of thousands of varieties of grain.
[T] to keep something, especially when it might be needed in the future: Accountants recommend holding records for more than seven years. Ten seats are being held for the chief executives.hold stocks/supplies We hold large stocks of all these items, and are generally able to guarantee next-day delivery.
[T] FINANCE to keep money or an investment, and not sell it: We'll hold the bonds until the resale market improves. For these stocks, the recommendation is: Hold! →  See also buy-and-hold
[T] to contain or be able to contain a number of people or things: Each container can hold 500 pounds of cargo. The auditorium is designed to hold 1,000 people.
[T] MEETINGS to make an event, especially a meeting, happen: hold a meeting/conference/conference call The software development conference is scheduled to be held in San Francisco in April.
[I or T] FINANCE to stay, or make something stay, at the same level as before: hold a rate/price/tax The Federal Reserve held interest rates at 3%. The Chancellor is expected to hold capital gains tax at its present rate. The markets held steady, despite the report of higher inflation.
[T] LAW to make a judgment in a court of law: A superior court judge held that the plaintiff had no legal claim to royalties.
[I or T] COMMUNICATIONS to wait when you are phoning until you can talk to the person that you want to speak to: He'll answering another call right now. Can you hold? Please hold the line. I'll try to connect you.
hold all the cards to be in a strong position when you are competing with someone else, because you have all the advantages: Management holds all the cards when it comes to the negotiations over job cuts.
hold the floor MEETINGS to speak in a formal situation, such as at a conference or meeting: Martin held the floor for almost an hour.
hold down the fort ( UK hold the fort) WORKPLACE to deal with a situation, or do someone's job, while they are away: She went off on vacation, leaving me to hold down the fort. Will you hold the fort while I go for lunch?
hold your ground to keep or defend an opinion or an idea, even when other people do not agree with you: We'll hold our ground until they accept our changes to the contract.
hold sb's hand to help someone to do something, especially when it is a new or difficult task: A call center technician held my hand as he talked me through installing the hardware. You shouldn't really need your boss to hold your hand any longer.
hold office GOVERNMENT, POLITICS to have a position of authority, especially in government: A president can only hold office for two terms of four years each. Things were not very different when the previous government held office.
hold your own to continue to be in a strong or fairly strong position, even when there are difficulties: hold your own against sb/sth They held their own against heavily marketed overseas brands.
hold the purse strings to control when and how money is spent: Head office holds the purse strings, and we'll need approval to buy any new equipment.
hold the reins to be in control of something: He currently holds the reins at one of the fastest growing mobile communications businesses in the country.
hold sth in reserve to keep something until a time when it is needed for a particular purpose: Four million additional tons of grain are held in reserve each month.
hold sway formal to have control or influence over someone or something: Party leaders held sway over the hearings.
hold title PROPERTY to have or control the rights to land, buildings, or other property: hold title to sth She held title to the property and all mineral rights.
hold (its) value to not fall in price: The older models haven't held value as much as collectors anticipated.
(Definition of hold verb from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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