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.

Word by Word Definitions

hold play
  1. : to have possession or ownership of or have at one's disposal

  2. : to have as a privilege or position of responsibility

  3. : to have as a mark of distinction

  1. : stronghold

  2. : confinement, custody

  3. : prison

  1. : the interior of a ship below decks

  2. : the cargo compartment of a plane

back play
  1. : the rear part of the human body especially from the neck to the end of the spine

  2. : the body considered as the wearer of clothes

  3. : capacity for labor, effort, or endurance

  1. : to, toward, or at the rear

  2. : in or into the past : backward in time

  3. : to or at an angle off the vertical

  1. : being at or in the back

  2. : distant from a central or main area

  3. : articulated at or toward the back of the oral passage : formed deep within the mouth

  1. : to support by material or moral assistance

  2. : substantiate

  3. : to assume financial responsibility for

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody

something play
  1. : some indeterminate or unspecified thing

  2. : some indeterminate amount more than a specified number

  3. : a person or thing of consequence

  1. : in some degree : somewhat

  2. used as an intensive giving adverbial force to an adjective


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