There are 2 main translations of hold in Spanish:

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hold 1

American English: /hoʊld/
British English: /həʊld/

transitive verb past tense & past participle held

  • 1 1.1 (clasp) See examples:hold it with both hands
    sujétalo or (especially Latin America) agárralo con las dos manos
    she was holding a newspaper
    tenía un periódico en la mano
    hold my hand to cross the road
    dame la mano para cruzar la calle
    he was holding her hand
    la tenía agarrada or (especially Spain) cogida de la mano
    they walked holding hands
    caminaban tomados or agarrados or (especially Spain) cogidos de la mano
    he held her in his arms
    la abrazó
    hold me tight
    Example sentences
    • In the afternoon a banner proclaiming his victory is unrolled and held by supporters.
    • Elizabeth looked up to see an adorable girl of about seven holding a small blue ball.
    • They both gathered in the dining room, where Hilkin was standing, holding a large brown bag.
    1.2 (grip) (Cars)
    adherirse a
    vehicles which hold the road well
    vehículos de buen agarre or que se agarran bien a la carretera
    Example sentences
    • The car holds the road very, very well at whatever speed I put it to, and I got her up to 110 to 115.
    • Certainly the car holds the road well and steers nicely and positively, whether on rural rides or slamming it down the motorway.
    • The Cooper S holds the road well and although the ride can be a little stiff at times, that's only to be expected with something this sporty.
  • 2 2.1 (support, bear) that rope is too thin to hold me
    esa cuerda es demasiado delgada para sostenerme or aguantarme
    to hold oneself erect
    mantenerse erguido
    2.2 (have room for) See examples: the jug will hold two liters
    la jarra tiene una capacidad de dos litros
    the stadium holds 20,000 people
    el estadio tiene capacidad or cabida para 20.000 personas
    will it hold another one?
    ¿cabe otro más?
    2.3 (contain) this report holds the answers to your all questions
    este informe contiene las respuestas a todas sus preguntas
    to hold one's liquor o (British English) drink
    ser de buen beber
    aguantar bien la bebida or [colloquial] el trago
    Example sentences
    • My lungs feel like they have suddenly compressed and aren't big enough to hold an adequate amount of oxygen.
    • DVDs are capable of holding 7 times the amount of space compared to your typical CD.
    • He pulled his gym bag from under his bed, thinking that it would be big enough to hold everything for the next two days.
    2.4 (have in store) who knows what the future holds
    quién sabe qué nos deparará el futuro
    the prospect holds no fear for me
    la perspectiva no me asusta
    Example sentences
    • Whatever the future holds this has certainly opened the eyes of governments around the globe.
    • Once more the computer was produced to show me what the future held, based on a range of percentage growth projections.
    • Of course, like anything in the future, this holds terrifying possibilities.
    Example sentences
    • She toke a deep breath and licked her lips before she stood up again and as if by a miracle, her legs were able to hold her weight.
    • I picked a random room and walked in, not being able to hold Corbin's weight long enough to find his room.
    • Several pieces of wood joined together can hold more weight than just a piece of wood.
  • 3 3.1 (keep in position) hold the ladder for me
    sujétame or sosténme la escalera
    I held the stake while she hammered it in
    yo sujeté la estaca mientras ella la clavaba
    raise your legs off the floor and hold them there
    levanta las piernas del suelo y manténlas levantadas
    3.2 (maintain, keep constant) can gold hold its present value for much longer?
    ¿el oro podrá mantener su valor actual mucho más tiempo?
    she held the lead throughout the race
    se mantuvo a la cabeza durante toda la carrera
    if Labour holds these seats
    si los laboristas retienen estos escaños or (River Plate area) estas bancas
    hold the line, please (Telecom)
    no cuelgue or (in Southern Cone also) no corte, por favor
    the note is held over four bars (Music)
    la nota se sostiene durante cuatro compases
    Example sentences
    • A woman claimed she felt herself being held down as she came round from an operation.
    • He sniffed haughtily, holding open the door for them and watching as they shuffled past.
    • The security men were holding back the crowd to let the shaken minister and the officials get into a waiting car.
    Example sentences
    • Rather than cutting spending, it should be held at current levels to create stability in the system.
    • It has been held at that level for the whole time this Government has been in office.
    • The decision was widely expected by analysts and borrowing costs have now been held at their current levels since the start of June.
    3.3 (engage)
    her performance held the audience spellbound
    su actuación mantuvo al público embelesado
    Example sentences
    • While not quite worthy of some of the hype it received last year, Monster's Ball is an interesting film that certainly holds your attention.
    • She moved closer to the window to see what had been interesting enough to hold Amber's attention.
    • Ailsa glanced at it again, then decided it wasn't interesting enough to hold her attention.
  • 4 4.1 (keep)
    I will hold the money until …
    yo me quedaré con el dinero hasta …
    hold the letter until I tell you
    no despache la carta hasta que yo le diga
    she asked her secretary to hold all her calls
    le dijo a su secretaria que no le pasara ninguna llamada
    4.2 (detain, imprison) See examples: she is being held at the police station for questioning
    está detenida en la comisaría para ser interrogada
    the wing where terrorists are held
    el ala donde tienen recluidos a los terroristas
    he was held prisoner in his own home
    lo tuvieron preso en su propia casa
    Example sentences
    • Police say he held the woman at gunpoint for about an hour.
    • We were held in a police cell for a week, and some of us were suspended from our jobs.
    • The government changed the law at the beginning of last year to allow the police to hold people for 14 days rather than seven.
    4.3 (restrain) once she decides to do something, there's no holding her
    una vez que decide hacer algo, no hay nada que la detenga
    they were held to a draw
    solo consiguieron un empate
    Example sentences
    • It was certainly not the kind of news for which editors hold the front page.
    • ‘Hold your fire until I say otherwise,’ he ordered.
    • Most experts also thought the Bank would hold its fire for fear of giving fresh impetus to house price rises or high consumer debt levels.
    4.4 (control) See examples: the rebels already held several towns
    los rebeldes ya ocupaban or habían tomado varias ciudades
    the conservatives have always held the country areas
    los conservadores siempre han ganado en las zonas rurales
    Example sentences
    • Only the original rebel group which holds the northern half of Ivory Coast is, so far, in talks with the government.
    • Rebels hold the north and loyalist forces the south of what was considered a haven of peace and prosperity until a 1999 coup.
    • Thousands of others remain trapped in the northern hills held by the rebels.
    Example sentences
    • Much of the money was being held in reserve to help pay for a new sports hall.
    • Mr Cunliffe said the news had come too late for this year's budget process and the money would go into the general fund to be held in reserve.
    • Of the nineteen planes, five would be held in reserve during the attacks.
  • 5 5.1 (have)
    estar en posesión de [formal]
    my lawyer holds the deeds
    mi abogado tiene la escritura
    la escritura está en poder de mi abogado
    he holds the view that …
    sostiene que or mantiene que …
    es de la opinión de que …
    5.2 (consider)
    this is held to be the case
    se considera que es así
    Kant held that …
    Kant sostenía or mantenía que …
    principles which he holds dear
    principios que le son caros
    to hold somebody in high esteem
    tener a alguien en mucha or gran estima
    to hold somebody responsible for something
    responsabilizar a alguien de algo
    Example sentences
    • Only 24 hours later, few within the party itself could pretend to hold such an optimistic opinion on the future of their leader.
    • Lavoisier's belief reveals that he still held a somewhat traditional view of elements.
    • It is a subject on which Evangelicals hold differing opinions.
    5.3 (conduct)
    it's impossible to hold a serious conversation with him
    es imposible mantener una conversación seria con él
    interviews will be held in London
    las entrevistas tendrán lugar en Londres
    Example sentences
    • Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust holds its annual general meeting tonight.
    • The meeting will be held at St John's and St Mark's Church Hall in Parkinson Street at 7pm.
    • The official opening was held on Monday night last and a full report will be carried in our next issue.
    Example sentences
    • He holds Bank of Ireland shares worth almost €4m.
    • Millions of former Abbey shareholders now hold Banco Santander shares.
    • However, these are high-risk trusts and the shares must be held for five years.
  • 6 6.1 (stop) See examples: hold it!
    hold it right there or I'll shoot!
    ¡quieto o disparo!
    hold your fire!
    ¡alto al fuego!
    6.2 (omit) (American English) I'll have a hamburger, but hold the mustard
    para mí una hamburguesa, pero sin mostaza
    Example sentences
    • Add a slice of cheese to your sandwich, but hold the mayonnaise.
    • As more Americans hold the cream and cut the carbs, Starbucks has been forced to respond.
    • Would Steve McQueen have been a skinny latte man? Does Sean Penn ask them to hold the fries and the bun when he orders a burger?
    Example sentences
    • Hold it right there. No one's going anywhere.
    • Hold it! Something doesn't sound right.
    • ‘Whoa, hold it a minute,’ Mike said, sitting up straight in his chair.

intransitive verb past tense & past participle held

  • 1 (clasp, grip) See examples: hold tight!
    ¡agárrate fuerte!
    hold tight for some amazing revelations!
    ¡prepárese para oír asombrosas revelaciones!
  • 2 2.1 (stay firm)
    2.2 (continue)
    seguir or continuar bueno
    share prices have held in spite of the trade deficit
    los precios de las acciones se han mantenido a pesar del déficit comercial
    if our luck holds
    si nos sigue acompañando la suerte
    si seguimos con suerte
    Example sentences
    • We expect the ceasefire to continue holding in order to enable this process to move forward at a quicker pace.
    • So it is back to square one unless the Good Friday Agreement holds.
    • The troops are still there, of course, and the peace is still holding.
    Example sentences
    • The Oxford defence held firm throughout while James Forrest continually harassed the home defence.
    • Coastal defences had held well under the extreme conditions of recent days, the Environment Agency said.
    • The arches supporting the weight above still held as strong as the day they were built.
  • 3 (be true)
    ser válido
    the same holds for most of his books
    lo mismo puede decirse de or es válido para la mayoría de sus libros
    my promise still holds good
    mi promesa sigue en pie
    many old sayings still hold true today
    muchos viejos refranes siguen teniendo vigencia or siguen siendo válidos hoy día
    Example sentences
    • If your argument holds, why are you bothering to say anything here?
    • And if something travels faster than light Einstein's Theory doesn't hold.
    • She shows that the upbeat view doesn't hold up in the face of a careful examination of the numbers.
  • 4 (stop) See examples: hold hard! (British English) [literary]
    ¡un momento!


  • 1 uncountable 1.1 (grip, grasp) See examples: to catch o grab o take hold (of something)
    (so as not to fall etc)
    agarrarse or asirse (de or a algo)
    catch o grab hold of that end
    agarra or (especially Spain) coge esa punta
    he grabbed hold of the rope
    se agarró or asió de or a la cuerda
    to keep hold of something
    no soltar algo
    you keep hold of him
    que no se te escape
    he caught o seized hold of her arm
    la agarró or (especially Spain) la cogió del brazo
    to get hold of somebody
    localizar or (in Latin America also) ubicar a alguien
    where can we get hold of him?
    ¿dónde podemos localizarlo or (in Latin America also) ubicarlo?
    she's difficult to get hold of during the day
    es difícil dar con ella or localizarla or (in Latin America also) ubicarla durante el día
    to get hold of something (manage to get)
    conseguir algo
    he got hold of the book/some tickets
    consiguió el libro/algunas entradas
    where did you get hold of the idea that … ?
    ¿de dónde has sacado la idea de que … ?
    he had a firm hold on the rope
    tenía la cuerda bien agarrada or sujeta
    I can't get a hold on the screw
    no consigo agarrar el tornillo
    after three matches the fire took hold
    al tercer fósforo el fuego prendió
    the flames had already taken hold
    el incendio se estaba extendiendo
    1.2 (control) See examples: to keep a firm hold on something
    mantener algo bajo riguroso control
    to get a hold of o on oneself
    she doesn't have the same hold on an audience that she used to
    ya no mantiene el interés del público como antes
    the hold they have over the members of the sect
    el dominio que ejercen sobre los miembros de la secta
    she has a hold over him (emotionally)
    él está embobado con ella [colloquial]
    Example sentences
    • At least this season Ferrari's hold has been, temporarily at least, broken.
    • Antony remained in the east, while Octavian retained a brutal hold on Italy.
    • The military consolidated their hold on power.
    1.3 (Television)horizontal/vertical hold
    control (masculine) de imagen horizontal/vertical
    Example sentences
    • I tried to smooth down my hair but Noah caught hold of my hands and held them in his, looking me straight in the eye.
    • I slipped, caught hold of the back of a chair, and sat down on the floor, heavily.
    • He slid down slowly and Cora, alarmed, caught hold of him around the waist.
  • 2 countable 2.1 (in wrestling, judo) no holds barred (lit: in wrestling) it has to be a frank discussion, with no holds barred
    tiene que ser una discusión franca, sin ningún tipo de restricciones
    2.2 (in mountaineering)
    Example sentences
    • Try to position your hands and feet on the holds in the positions you will want them in for the next move.
    • When I latched on to this hold and let my feet swing out from the face below, I felt an alarming sense of fatigue in my arms.
    • He set his feet firmly apart and reaching forward, gripped the rough holds.
    Example sentences
    • For example, wrestling includes many holds, which can easily be performed in such a way that they damage the elbow, shoulder, neck or leg joints.
    • Now, I will be the first to tell anyone that there is a lot more to being an announcer than knowing the names of moves and holds.
    • He is a master of numerous holds and throws and is a throwback to a time when stories were told in the ring and not on the microphone.
  • 3 countable (delay, pause) to be on hold
    estar en compás de espera
    estar aparcado or en suspenso
    we'll put that on hold
    eso lo vamos a dejar en suspenso de momento
    I've got Mr Brown on hold
    el Sr Brown está esperando para hablar con usted
    I'll put you on hold till her line's free
    no cuelgue, en cuanto la línea esté libre le paso la llamada

Phrasal verbs

hold against

verb + object + preposition + object
tomar or tener en cuenta
(bear grudge)
guardar rencor
but I won't hold that against him
no se lo voy a tomar or tener en cuenta
he held it against me for years
me guardó rencor por ello durante muchos años

hold back

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (restrain)
1.2 (withhold, delay)
no revelar
I have a feeling he's holding something back from me
tengo la impresión de que me está ocultando algo
he held back his most controversial statements until the end of his speech
se guardó las declaraciones más polémicas hasta el final del discurso
1.3 (impede progress of)
frenar el avance de
2verb + adverb 2.1 (restrain oneself)
to hold back from something/-ingshe held back from criticizing them too strongly
se contuvo y no los criticó demasiado
2.2 (delay, withhold) See examples:to hold back on something
(on payment/publication)
retrasar or (especially Latin America) postergar algo
they may hold back on signing the contract
puede ser que retrasen or (especially Latin America) posterguen la firma del contrato

hold down

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1.1 (force, press down)
1.2 (job)he's incapable of holding down any kind of job
es incapaz de tener un trabajo y cumplir con él
1.3 (limit)
hold that noise down! (American English)
¡baja ese ruido!

hold forth

verb + adverb
she can hold forth at great length on o about any subject you choose
es capaz de pontificar or de soltarte una larga perorata sobre cualquier tema que se te ocurra

hold in

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1.2 (restrain)
I couldn't hold myself in any longer
no pude contenerme or aguantarme más

hold off

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (resist)
1.2 (defeat)
1.3 (delay)
2verb + adverb 2.1 (be delayed) See examples: if the rain holds off
si no empieza a llover
si la lluvia se aguanta [colloquial]
2.2 (keep one's distance, show restraint) See examples: I've made my point, so I plan to hold off for a while
yo ya he dicho lo que pensaba, así que ahora me voy a callar la boca
so far I've managed to hold off from saying anything to her
por ahora he logrado aguantarme y no decirle nada

hold on

1verb + adverb 1.1 (wait) where's the toilet? I can't hold on any longer!
¿dónde está el baño? ¡estoy que ya no aguanto más!
hold on, I'll try to put you through
un momentito, voy a tratar de comunicarlo
1.2 (maintain advantage) See examples: the British runner held on to finish second
el corredor británico mantuvo su ventaja y terminó en segundo lugar
1.3 (clasp, grip) See examples: hold on tight
agárrate fuerte
to hold on to something/somebody
agarrarse a or de algo/alguien
to hold on to a hope
aferrarse a una esperanza
he held on to this belief
siguió creyendo en esto
se mantuvo firme en esta creencia
can you hold on to this for me for a minute?
1.4 (keep) See examples:to hold on to something
conservar or guardar algo
conservar or no perder algo
2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object (fasten)

hold out

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object (extend, proffer)
the child picked a flower and held it out to me
el niño arrancó una flor y me la ofreció
2verb + adverb + object 2.1 (offer)
2.2 (represent) (usually passive) 2.3 (have, retain)
I don't hold out much hope of getting the contract
no me hago muchas ilusiones or no tengo mucha esperanza de que me adjudiquen el contrato
3verb + adverb 3.1 (survive, last)
3.2 (resist, make a stand)
the strikers are holding out for 5%
los huelguistas se mantienen firmes en su reivindicación de un 5% de aumento
many staff are holding out against these changes
muchos empleados se oponen a estos cambios
3.3 (withhold information) (especially American English) [colloquial]quit holding out and tell us what she said
déjate de ocultarnos las cosas y dinos qué dijo
after two days of questioning he's still holding out on them
ya van dos días de interrogatorios y todavía no ha cantado [colloquial]

hold over

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1.1 (postpone) 1.2 (extend) (American English) (Cinema, Theater)held over by popular demand
continúa a petición or (in Latin America also) a pedido del público

hold to

1verb + object + preposition + object (make abide by) See examples: come and stay with us one weekend — I'll hold you to that!
ven a pasar un fin de semana con nosotros — ¡te tomo la palabra!
I'm going to hold her to her promise
la voy a obligar a cumplir su promesa
voy a exigir que cumpla su promesa
we must hold them to their original budget
tenemos que exigir que se atengan a su presupuesto original
2verb + preposition + object (abide by) See examples: she held to her beliefs/principles
se mantuvo firme en sus creencias/principios

hold together

1verb + adverb
tener lógica or solidez
mantenerse unidos
his suit scarcely holds together any more
el traje se le está prácticamente cayendo a pedazos
2verb + object + adverb (keep united)
mantener unido

hold up

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (raise)
mantener erguido
she held the cloth up to the light
puso la tela a contraluz
1.2 (support)
1.3 (delay)
he was held up at the office
algo lo detuvo or retuvo en la oficina
1.4 (rob) 1.5 (expose, present) See examples: to hold something/somebody up to ridicule
poner algo/a alguien en ridículo
ridiculizar algo/a alguien
to hold something/somebody up as an example/a model
poner algo/a alguien como ejemplo/modelo
2verb + adverb 2.1 (remain high, strong) See examples: the dollar held up well against other currencies
el dólar se mantuvo firme frente a otras monedas
I hope I can hold up under the pressure
espero ser capaz de resistir or soportar la presión
resultar válido

hold with

verb + preposition + object (usually negative)
estar de acuerdo con

Definition of hold in:

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There are 2 main translations of hold in Spanish:

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hold 2
American English: /hoʊld/
British English: /həʊld/


  • (of ship, aircraft)
    Example sentences
    • Each unit costs a different amount and they also take up a certain amount of space in the cargo hold of the ship.
    • A final doorway led from the galley down to the cargo hold under the ship.
    • Some were given spaces in the vast holds of the ship, where they laid down to rest and were asleep in just a few minutes.

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