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

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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 The 55-inch version is something to behold and runs $1,198. Mark Heim |, al, "Here are deals on TVs ahead of Alabama’s CFP national championship game with Ohio State," 5 Jan. 2021 The interior’s centerpiece, the 15.5-inch vertical touch screen, is a thing to behold, like a Big Print edition of infotainment. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Ford’s All-Electric Mach-E: A ‘Mustang’ in Name Only," 1 Jan. 2021 That’s how good Bueckers was Saturday in an empty gym, beginning her college career and setting the stage for something to behold as the Huskies opened the strangest of seasons with a 79-23 victory over UMass Lowell. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: Paige Bueckers shows how she will lead UConn, and eventually delight fans at Gampel Pavilion, with dazzling debut," 13 Dec. 2020 Anything with grandma, for starters, is something to behold. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "‘Hillbilly Elegy’ misses essence of best-selling 2016 memoir," 13 Nov. 2020 And lo, behold its semiotic thickness: the gift tag, the Crown of Thorns reminding us that the baby in the manger is father to the man scourged and crucified by Roman justice. Matthew Sweet, The Economist, "The secret economics of Christmas adverts, unwrapped," 4 Dec. 2020 On top of her impressive body of work, Senofonte’s personal look is also something to behold. Nicole Kliest, Marie Claire, "5 Pairs of Shoes To Wear This Season—Approved by Style Experts," 3 Dec. 2020 The stillness of a winter forest or desert is something to behold. Matt Jancer, Wired, "The Best Black Friday Deals on Fitness and Outdoor Gear," 27 Nov. 2020 May our eyes never fail to behold your goodness and love. The Enquirer, "Much to be thankful for. A few prayers of thanksgiving to remind us of that.," 26 Nov. 2020

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

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Behold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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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