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hold is one of the 1000 most common headwords.



Plain form

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

  1. (transitive) When you hold something, you put it in your hand and keep it there.
    He held the pen tightly as he wrote the letter.
  2. (transitive) When you hold something, you keep it in one place and do not let it move away.
    The police hold people who do crimes in prison.
  3. (transitive) If you hold someone accountable/responsible/liable, you put the responsibility for something on them.
    It's not clear if parents should be held responsible for the problems their children cause.
    We are trying to finally get tobacco companies held responsible for killing people.
  4. (intransitive)/(linking) If something holds true/good, it is or continues to be true.
    The drug extends life for mice. If this holds true in humans as well, it will be a great advance.
    He might be able to do it, but I don't think that holds for most men.
  5. (linking) If you hold somebody prisoner/hostage/captive, you do not allow them to go free.
    Police in Luxembourg say a gunman holding 29 children hostage is demanding a mini-bus to take him to the airport.