hold on


held on; holding on; holds on

intransitive verb

: to maintain a condition or position : persist
: to maintain a grasp on something : hang on
: to await something (such as a telephone connection) desired or requested
broadly : wait
hold on to
: to maintain possession of or adherence to

Example Sentences

the ancient beliefs still held on in remote mountain villages hold on a minute—it's not your turn
Recent Examples on the Web Ottawa drew a pair of penalties on one sequence (roughing on Aaron Ekblad and holding on Cousins) giving the Senators a two-man advantage for a full two minutes. George Richards, Sun Sentinel, 7 Apr. 2023 Now, Republicans have an even stronger hold on the body in the final weeks of a legislative session where increasingly hardline GOP members have wielded their supermajority to push through conservative priorities. Amanda Su, ABC News, 7 Apr. 2023 Trump had a particularly strong hold on its core audience members. Jim Rutenberg, New York Times, 6 Apr. 2023 Back in China, tensions were escalating over the government’s tightening hold on everyday life. Stephanie Yang, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2023 As the Suns maintain their hold on the number four seed in the West and the Diamondbacks host the Dodgers in their 2023 home opener, the light rail could serve as Thursday night's MVP. Kye Graves, The Arizona Republic, 6 Apr. 2023 This year’s wet winter has also begun to fuel what many hope will be a superbloom of wildflowers in California, with orange poppies, purple lupine and golden violets beginning to take hold on the ranchlands. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Apr. 2023 Those maps, widely regarded as among the most gerrymandered in the country, have helped Republicans increase their hold on the state Legislature to near supermajority levels, even as Democrats have won statewide elections, including Tony Evers as governor in both 2018 and 2022 and Biden in 2020. Scott Bauer, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of hold on was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near hold on

Cite this Entry

“Hold on.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hold%20on. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition

hold on

: to keep a hold

More from Merriam-Webster on hold on

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