hold back (someone or something )

idiom

Definition of hold back (someone or something ) 

1 : to stop (someone) from doing something Once he starts talking, there's no holding him back.

2 : 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).

3 : to keep (something) He held several thousand dollars back in case of an emergency.

4 : to delay (something) The company held back the first shipment of the new product until it was completely ready.

5 : 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.

Learn More about hold back (someone or something )

Share hold back (someone or something )

Resources for hold back (someone or something )

Statistics for hold back (someone or something )

Look-up Popularity

Comments on hold back (someone or something )

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

WORD OF THE DAY

an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!