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

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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 Millions more outside the path of totality beheld a partial eclipse, still stunning as the moon took a healthy bite of our star., "Solar Eclipse Awes America With a Glimpse of Totality," 21 Aug. 2017 Behold the Nile hippopotamus: Millions of years of replication produced a fat, moody water beast that can’t swim with a reputation, incongruous to its cartoon-y affect, as the most fearsome killer of humans. Anne Saker,, "Fiona and me: Love for a baby hippo, and for people, too.," 8 Aug. 2017 But there is little as impressive to behold as confidence. Kevin Acee,, "Despite dark outing, Lamet will still shine for Padres," 7 June 2017 Their eyes have beheld, as from the wings of a huge stage, that glorious metamorphosis of a dormant people aroused at last to exaltation. Rosa Inocencio Smith, The Atlantic, "The Atlantic Daily: Terror and Twitter," 5 June 2017 Words alone cannot behold the music's transcendental beauty and healing power—her music is a spiritual experience. Sandra Guzman, NBC News, "Sacred Songs: Celebrating the Visionary Music of Alice Coltrane," 26 May 2017 Darker walls can appear to recede rather than close in on a space creating a rich intimacy that beholds character, a sort of classy sophistication to a space. Signature Interiors And Design, The Seattle Times, "Are you afraid of the dark … paint colors?," 15 May 2017 The mega-taco is the creation of Recio’s Smokehouse Restaurant and Catering on Old Brownsville Road, not far from Chacho’s Tacos, which serves up a near 4-pounder that’s also something to behold. Tom Uhler,, "A taco the size of a baby?," 9 May 2017 Ladies and germs, behold the son of Indiana Jones: Shia LaBeouf. Erik Malinowski, WIRED, "The Indy-scribable Shia LaBeouf," 8 Mar. 2007

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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Statistics for behold

Cite this Entry

“Behold.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for behold


How to pronounce behold (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of behold

formal + literary : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on behold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for behold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with behold

Spanish Central: Translation of behold

Nglish: Translation of behold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of behold for Arabic Speakers

Comments on behold

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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