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Synonyms of hold in English:


  • 1 she was holding a brown leather suitcase
    clasp, hold on to, clutch, grasp, grip, clench, cling to, have in one's hand;
    carry, bear
    literary cleave to
    [Antonyms] release, let go of
  • 2 I wanted to hold her in my arms
    embrace, hug, clasp, cradle, fold, enfold, envelop, squeeze, hold tight, hold in one's arms
    literary embosom
  • 3 candidates must hold a clean driving licence
    possess, have, own, bear, carry, be the owner of, have in one's possession, be in possession of, have to one's name
  • 4 I reached up to the nearest branch which seemed likely to hold my weight
    support, bear, carry, take, hold up, keep up, sustain, prop up, bolster up, shore up, buttress, brace
  • 5 the police were holding him on a murder charge
    detain, hold in custody, imprison, lock up, shut up, put behind bars, put in prison, put in jail, incarcerate, keep under lock and key, confine, impound, immure, intern, constrain, keep under constraint
    informal put away, put inside
    [Antonyms] let go
  • 6 their minimal costumes are a way of holding an audience's attention
    maintain, keep, keep up, keep alive, occupy, engross, absorb, interest, captivate, fascinate, enthral, rivet, monopolize;
    engage, catch, capture, grip, arrest
    [Antonyms] lose
  • 7 he held a senior post in the Foreign Office
    occupy, have, be in, fill
    informal hold down
  • 8 the tank held twenty-four gallons the church is big enough to hold 400 people
    have a capacity of, take, have room for, have space for, contain, comprise;
    accommodate, fit, seat, have seats for
  • 9 they hold that all literature is empty of meaning the Court of Appeal held that there was no evidence to support the judge's assessment
    believe, think, consider, take the view, feel, maintain, swear, deem, be of the opinion, subscribe to the opinion;
    adjudge, judge, rule, decide;
    North American  figure
    informal reckon
    formal esteem, opine
  • 10 let's hope the good weather holds for the rest of the week
    continue, carry on, go on, hold on, hold out, keep up, keep going, last, persist, endure, stay, remain, remain unchanged
    [Antonyms] end
  • 11 I'll have that coffee now, if the offer still holds
    remain available, remain valid, remain in force, hold good, stand, apply, remain, exist, operate, obtain, be the case, be in force, be in operation, be in effect
    [Antonyms] be no longer valid
  • 12 the president held a meeting with party leaders
    convene, call, assemble, summon;
    conduct, have, organize, run, preside over, officiate at
    formal convoke
    [Antonyms] disband
  • Phrases

    hold back
    he held back, remembering the mistake he had made before
    [Antonyms] carry on
    hesitate, pause, stop oneself, restrain oneself, desist, forbear, discontinue, withhold from doing something, refrain from doing something
    hold someone back
    my lack of experience held me back a bit
    [Antonyms] help, facilitate
    hinder, hamper, inhibit, impede, obstruct, check, curb, block, thwart, baulk, hamstring, restrain, frustrate, retard, delay, prevent from making progress, stand in someone's way
    informal stymie
    North American informal bork
    literary trammel
    hold something back
  • 1 Jane struggled to hold back the tears
    suppress, keep back, hold in, bite back, fight back, choke back, stifle, smother, subdue, rein in, repress, restrain, check, curb, control, keep in check, keep under control, keep a tight rein on
    [Antonyms] release
  • 2 you're not holding anything back from me, are you?
    withhold, hide, conceal, keep back, keep secret, keep hidden, keep silent about, keep quiet about, hush up, refuse to disclose, suppress
    [Antonyms] disclose
  • hold someone/something dear
    fidelity is something most of us hold dear
    [Antonyms] think little of
    cherish, treasure, prize, appreciate, value highly, rate highly, care very much for/about, place a high value on, attach great importance to, set great store by
    informal put on a pedestal
    hold someone down
    the people are held down by a repressive military regime
    oppress, repress, suppress, subdue, tyrannize, dominate, subjugate, keep down, keep under, keep in subjection, keep in submission
    hold something down
  • 1 he is determined to hold down inflation
    keep down, keep low, keep at a low level, peg down, freeze, fix
  • 2 informal holding down two jobs was proving tiring for him
  • hold forth
    he was holding forth about the qualities of good wine
    speak at length, talk at length, speak, talk, go on, sound off;
    declaim, discourse, spout, expatiate, pontificate, orate, preach, sermonize;
    informal spiel, speechify, preachify, drone on
    rare perorate
    hold something in
    she tried to stop laughing, but it was too much to hold in See hold something back sense 1
    hold off
  • 1 fortunately, the rain held off until the evening
    be delayed, keep off, stay away, not begin, not occur, not happen, not arrive
    [Antonyms] start
  • 2 if I was in their shoes, I'd hold off for a couple of days
    wait, hold back, pause, delay, hang back, hang fire, take no action, bide one's time, play a waiting game;
    postpone, defer, refrain from, put something off, keep from doing something, avoid doing something
    [Antonyms] proceed
  • hold something off
    he held off a late challenge by Vose to win by thirteen seconds
    [Antonyms] submit to, be overpowered by
    resist, repel, repulse, rebuff, parry, deflect, keep off, fend off, stave off, ward off, keep at bay
    hold on
  • 1 hold on a minute, I'll be right back!
    wait, wait a minute, just a moment, just a second, stay here, stay put, remain here;
    informal hang on, hang around, stick around, sit tight, hold your horses
    British informal hang about
    archaic or literary tarry
  • 2 if only they could hold on a little longer
    keep going, keep on, survive, last, continue, persevere, struggle on, carry on, go on, hang on, hold out, not give up, see it through, stay the course
    informal soldier on, stick at it, stick it out, hang in there
    [Antonyms] give up
  • hold on to
  • 1 he held on to the back of a chair
    literary cleave to
    [Antonyms] release, let go of
  • 2 the industry is trying to hold on to experienced staff
    retain, keep, hang on to, keep possession of, retain possession of, retain use of, retain ownership of, not sell, not give away, keep for oneself
    [Antonyms] lose
  • hold one's own
    See own
    hold out
  • 1 British troops held out against constant attacks
    resist, withstand, hold off, fight off, fend off, keep off, keep at bay, stand up to, square up to, fight against, bear up against, stand fast against, stand firm against, hold the line against
    [Antonyms] yield to
  • 2 we can stay here as long as our supplies hold out
    last, remain, be extant, continue
    [Antonyms] run out
  • hold something out
    Celia held out her hand
    [Antonyms] withdraw
    extend, proffer, offer, present, outstretch, reach out, stretch out, put out, hold forth
    literary outreach
    hold something over
    the usual family gathering was held over until late January
    [Antonyms] bring forward
    North American  put over, table, take a rain check on
    informal put on ice, put on the back burner, put in cold storage, mothball
    rare remit, respite
    hold the fort
    See fort
    hold up
    their views still seem to hold up extremely well
    [Antonyms] be unconvincing
    be convincing, be logical, hold, hold water, bear examination, survive investigation, be verifiable, be provable
    hold something up
  • 1 they held up the trophy for all to see
    display, hold aloft, exhibit, show, show off, put on show, present, flourish, flaunt, brandish
    informal flash
    [Antonyms] keep out of sight
  • 2 concrete pillars hold up the elevated section of the motorway
    support, hold, bear, carry, take, sustain, keep up, prop up, bolster up, shore up, buttress
  • 3 our return flight was held up for seven hours
    [Antonyms] speed up
  • 4 a lack of cash has held up progress
    obstruct, impede, hinder, hamper, inhibit, baulk, thwart, curb, hamstring, frustrate, foil, baffle, be a hindrance to, interfere with, put a brake on, stop
    informal stymie
    British informal throw a spanner in the works of, put a spoke in the wheel of
    North American informal bork, throw a monkey wrench in the works of
    [Antonyms] facilitate
  • 5 a masked raider held up the post office
    rob, commit armed robbery on, make an armed raid on;
    waylay, mug, ambush
    informal stick up
    North American  bushwhack
    Australian/New Zealand historical bushrange
  • hold water
    See water
    hold with
    I don't hold with fighting or violence
    [Antonyms] disapprove of
    approve of, agree with, be in favour of, go along with, endorse, accept, countenance, support, give support to, subscribe to, give one's blessing to, take kindly to
    informal stand for, give the thumbs up to, give the okay to
    British informal be doing with
    North American rare approbate


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  • 1 the little girl kept a firm hold on my hand he lost his hold and fell
  • 2 he discovered that Tom had some kind of hold over his father
  • 3 military forces tightened their hold on the capital
    control, grip, power, stranglehold, dominion, authority, ascendancy
  • Phrases

    get hold of
  • 1 if you can't get hold of ripe tomatoes, add some tomato purée
    obtain, acquire, get, find, come by, pick up, procure, get possession of;
    informal get one's hands on, lay one's hands on, get one's mitts on
  • 2 I'll try and get hold of Mark
    contact, get in touch with, communicate with, make contact with, approach, reach, notify, be in communication with;
    phone, call, speak to, talk to, write to;
    British  ring (up), get on to
    informal drop a line to
  • informal
    put something on hold
    the proposed rematch has been put on hold
    [Antonyms] bring forward
    postpone, put off, put back, hold off, defer, delay, adjourn, shelve, suspend, hold in abeyance;
    North American  put over, take a rain check on
    informal put on ice, put on the back burner, put in cold storage, mothball
    rare remit, respite
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