be·​hold | \ bi-ˈhōld How to pronounce behold (audio) , bē- \
beheld\ bi-​ˈheld How to pronounce behold (audio) , bē-​ \; beholding

Definition of behold

transitive verb

1 : to perceive through sight or apprehension : see
2 : to gaze upon : observe It was a pleasure to behold the beauty of the sunset. The enormous crowd was a sight to behold.

intransitive verb

used in the imperative especially to call attention

Other Words from behold

beholder noun

Examples of behold in a Sentence

Those who have beheld the beauty of the desert never forget it. to anyone who beholds the immense complexity of life on earth
Recent Examples on the Web Webb is expected to behold light from the universe’s first stars and galaxies, beyond Hubble’s range. Marcia Dunn, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Dec. 2021 Webb is expected to behold light from the universe’s first stars and galaxies, beyond Hubble’s range. Fox News, 24 Dec. 2021 In just 13 minutes, this elegant short about a giant’s corpse that washes up on a beach one day captures, in a perfect snapshot, humanity’s tendency to desecrate marvels, to behold a world-changing event and decide simply to carry on. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 20 Dec. 2021 Hosted with the support of Saks Fifth Avenue, De Beers Jewellers, and Veuve Clicquot, the event eventually leads to a dinner and dance floor—and the latter is such as much a thing to behold as the train show. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 12 Dec. 2021 Whoever wrote these poems wanted to craft a beauty almost painful to behold. Irina Dumitrescu, The New York Review of Books, 27 May 2021 Almost all the pairings are horrendous to behold, except for Margaret and her hot husband, who have a nice make-out session that appears charged with real desire. Rachel Handler, Vulture, 3 Dec. 2021 The dances are beautiful to behold on their own, but equally spellbinding is the colorful regalia that the dancers wear to perform them. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 10 Nov. 2021 Any defensive front that has Leonard Floyd as the third-best pass rusher is something to behold. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'behold.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of behold

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for behold

Middle English, to keep, behold, from Old English behealdan, from be- + healdan to hold

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Time Traveler for behold

Time Traveler

The first known use of behold was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

7 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Behold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for behold



English Language Learners Definition of behold

: to look at (something) : to see (something)


be·​hold | \ bi-ˈhōld How to pronounce behold (audio) \
beheld\ -​ˈheld \; beholding

Kids Definition of behold

: to look upon : see There I beheld a wondrous sight.

Other Words from behold

beholder noun

More from Merriam-Webster on behold

Nglish: Translation of behold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of behold for Arabic Speakers


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