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verb with·hold \with-ˈhōld, with-\

Simple Definition of withhold

  • : to hold (something) back

  • : to refuse to provide (something)

  • : to take out (an amount of money for taxes) from someone's income

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of withhold

withheldplay \-ˈheld\withholding

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to hold back from action :  check

  3. 2 archaic :  to keep in custody

  4. 3 :  to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing <withhold permission>

  5. 4 :  to deduct (withholding tax) from income

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  forbear, refrain <withhold from commenting>

withholder noun

Examples of withhold in a sentence

  1. She was accused of withholding evidence.

  2. She has $20 withheld from her paycheck every week.

Origin of withhold

Middle English, from with from + holden to hold — more at with

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of withhold

keep, observe, celebrate, commemorate mean to notice or honor a day, occasion, or deed. keep stresses the idea of not neglecting or violating <kept the Sabbath by refraining from work>. observe suggests marking the occasion by ceremonious performance <not all holidays are observed nationally>. celebrate suggests acknowledging an occasion by festivity <traditionally celebrates Thanksgiving with a huge dinner>. commemorate suggests that an occasion is marked by observances that remind one of the origin and significance of the event <commemorate Memorial Day with the laying of wreaths>.

keep, retain, detain, withhold, reserve mean to hold in one's possession or under one's control. keep may suggest a holding securely in one's possession, custody, or control <keep this while I'm gone>. retain implies continued keeping, especially against threatened seizure or forced loss <managed to retain their dignity even in poverty>. detain suggests a delay in letting go <detained them for questioning>. withhold implies restraint in letting go or a refusal to let go <withheld information from the authorities>. reserve suggests a keeping in store for future use <reserve some of your energy for the last mile>.

WITHHOLD Defined for Kids


verb with·hold \with-ˈhōld, with-\

Definition of withhold for Students

withheld \-ˈheld\withholding

  1. :  to refuse to give, grant, or allow <The teacher withheld permission.>

Seen and Heard

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a division or portion of a pool or whole

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