be·​hold | \ bi-ˈhōld , bē-\
beheld\ bi-​ˈheld , 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 But the project's growing team longed for a home on the airwaves to love as their own, one that wasn't beholden to anyone except the people who volunteered to run it. Kevin Warwick, Chicago Reader, "CHIRP sees the transmitter at the end of the tunnel," 16 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

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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Statistics for behold

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Time Traveler for behold

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

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More Definitions for behold



English Language Learners Definition of behold

formal + literary : to look at (something) : to see (something)


be·​hold | \ bi-ˈhōld \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with behold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for behold

Spanish Central: Translation of behold

Nglish: Translation of behold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of behold for Arabic Speakers

Comments on behold

What made you want to look up behold? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very full or close together

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