take hold

idiomatic phrase

1
: to grasp, grip, or seize something
took hold and hung on tight
often used with of
take hold of the railing
… she took hold of his arm with both her hands, and looked up eagerly—oh, with such terrible eagerness!—into his face.Anthony Trollope
often used figuratively
As word of the subpoenas spread … confusion and hysteria took hold of the social set …Bob Colacello
I did not want Merlin to retire from the job until I was ready to take hold of it effectively myself …Mark Twain
2
: to become effective, established, or popular
The change in the law has not yet taken hold.
… a swath of land that has been spared from lava flows long enough that rich vegetation has had a chance to take hold.G. Brad Lewis
… here in central California the French aesthetic has recently taken hold.Rebecca Coffey

Examples of take hold in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There have been some hints that the Federal Reserve’s campaign to cool inflation by reining in spending may be taking hold. Anne D'innocenzio, Fortune, 15 May 2024 As the duality of loss and regrowth takes hold in the AI era, everyone involved in music must amplify the latter, while keeping the former as muted as possible. Michael Gallant, Billboard, 15 May 2024 The idea of a single, native language took hold in linguistics in the mid-20th century, a uniquely monolingual time in human history. Madeleine Schwartz Soneela Nankani Tanya Pérez Brian St. Pierre, New York Times, 14 May 2024 Around the world, routine outpatient procedures and illnesses have rapidly become life-threatening when opportunistic bugs take hold. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2024 In the spring of 2020, as Covid-19 took hold around the world, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention director Mandy Cohen was the head of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services. Annalisa Merelli, STAT, 6 May 2024 The war in Gaza could end or a cease-fire could take hold. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 May 2024 On April 30th, after similar demonstrations began to take hold at college and university campuses across the country, a contingent of protesters occupied Hamilton Hall—an academic building—until, once more, the police were called in. Nina Berman, The New Yorker, 2 May 2024 About 50 protesters rallied at ASU on Wednesday evening, waving Palestinian flags and holding cease-fire signs, with the gathering taking hold near a bus stop on East University Drive. Dylan Wickman, The Arizona Republic, 2 May 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'take hold.' 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

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of take hold was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near take hold

Cite this Entry

“Take hold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take%20hold. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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