Definition of Hold back

1. Verb. Hold back, as of a danger or an enemy; check the expansion or influence of. "Turn back the tide of communism"

Exact synonyms: Arrest, Check, Contain, Stop, Turn Back
Specialized synonyms: Cut Down, Cut Out
Generic synonyms: Defend
Derivative terms: Containment, Containment, Stop

2. Verb. Keep under control; keep in check. "Keep your cool"
Exact synonyms: Keep, Keep Back, Restrain
Specialized synonyms: Hold, Confine, Bottle Up, Inhibit, Suppress, Check, Contain, Control, Curb, Hold, Hold In, Moderate
Generic synonyms: Bottle Up, Inhibit, Suppress
Derivative terms: Restrainer, Restraint

3. Verb. Refrain from doing. "She forbore a snicker"
Exact synonyms: Forbear
Generic synonyms: Forbear, Refrain

4. Verb. Wait before acting. "They hold back to move "; "The scientists held off announcing their results until they repeated the experiment"
Exact synonyms: Hold Off, Wait
Generic synonyms: Act, Move
Specialized synonyms: Hold Out, Delay
Derivative terms: Wait, Waiter

5. Verb. Secure and keep for possible future use or application. "They hold back the money "; "I reserve the right to disagree"
Exact synonyms: Hold, Keep Back, Retain
Generic synonyms: Hold On, Keep
Specialized synonyms: Hold Down
Derivative terms: Holding, Retention

6. Verb. Hold back; keep from being perceived by others. "She conceals her anger well"
Exact synonyms: Conceal, Hold In
Specialized synonyms: Occult
Derivative terms: Concealing, Concealment

Definition of Hold back

1. Verb. (idiomatic) to act with reserve; to contain one's full measure or power ¹

2. Verb. (idiomatic) to contain; stop ¹

3. Verb. (idiomatic) to delay, especially in school ¹

¹ Source:

Lexicographical Neighbors of Hold Back

hold-up play
hold a candle
hold a grudge
hold a torch for
hold against
hold all of the aces
hold all of the cards
hold all the aces
hold all the cards
hold back (current term)
hold baggage
hold close
hold dear
hold down
hold fast
hold fire
hold firm
hold forth
hold hands
hold hard
hold hostage
hold in
hold it
hold luggage

Literary usage of Hold back

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. South Eastern Reporter by West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, West Publishing Company, South Carolina Supreme Court (1905)
"Please hold back payment of cargo till they give you order to pay my claim. These people wrote me that they had notified you but for fear they have not will ..."

2. Report of the Proceedings by Church congress (1862)
"... and thence to his Maker's presence,—if we were to hold back, we could only see a soul perishing or perished, which with a more self-renouncing charity ..."

3. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle of St. James by James Hardy Ropes (1916)
"But this is less forcible, since the writer who wrote the preceding and following denunciation would not be likely to hold back from the out- and-out threat ..."

4. Report of the Joint Select Committee Appointed to Inquire Into the Condition by Luke Potter Poland, John Scott (1872)
"... do nothing and have nothing, and depend on the white men to furnish you meat and bread, pay the taxes to educate your children, while you hold back, ..."

5. A French-English Dictionary for Chemists by Austin McDowell Patterson (1921)
"... vt retain; hold; keep; hold back restrain; hold up, sustain; get back, get again. ... cling; hold back, stop, refrain; be retained, etc. retenter, ..."

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