hold back (someone or something )


: to stop (someone) from doing something
Once he starts talking, there's no holding him back.
: to not allow (something) to be seen or known by someone
He was unable to hold back his tears.
The government held back some crucial information from the media.
I know you're angry, so don't hold anything back (from me).
: to keep (something)
He held several thousand dollars back in case of an emergency.
: to delay (something)
The company held back the first shipment of the new product until it was completely ready.
: to stop (someone or something) from moving forward : to stop (someone or something) from advancing to the next level, grade, or stage
She might have been more successful, but bad health held her back.
He was held back in first grade.

Examples of hold back (someone or something ) in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Gwyneth Paltrow sat down for an interview this week in which she was asked some very personal questions about her famous exes—and when answering, the Goop founder did not hold back. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 4 May 2023 One of the most potent responses to modern-day witch hunts is the struggle to hold back, and even reverse, the process of land dispossession and wealth concentration that began centuries ago during Europe's Great Hunt. Silvia Federici, Scientific American, 17 Apr. 2023 Recently leaked Pentagon documents suggest that Ukraine is increasingly desperate for arms to hold back Russian troops, and in particular needs the kind of air defenses that Brazil can supply. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, 14 Apr. 2023 Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, apparently struggling to hold back tears, told reporters that none of the missing crew members have been found as the search continued Friday. Mari Yamaguchi, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Apr. 2023 Shareholders didn’t hold back their frustrations with the merger or Lehmann and his fellow executives at the meeting either. Will Daniel, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2023 But one problem continues to hold back its recovery: a major oversupply of unsold apartments. Stella Yifan Xie, WSJ, 3 Apr. 2023 Purdue basketball's David Jenkins Jr. didn't hold back when asked about Fairleigh Dickinson's basketball coach Tobin Anderson's comments about the Boilermakers. Evan Frank, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Mar. 2023 This caused a spike in buyers’ monthly payments, causing prospective buyers to hold back on purchasing a home. Mitchell Parton, Dallas News, 13 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hold back (someone or something ).' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near hold back (someone or something )

hold back one's tears

hold back (someone or something )

hold beam

Cite this Entry

“Hold back (someone or something ).” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hold%20back%20%28someone%20or%20something%20%29. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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