hold back

1) PHR-V-ERG If you hold back or something holds you back, you hesitate before you do something because you are not sure whether it is the right thing to do.

[V P] The administration had several reasons for holding back...

[V n P] Melancholy and mistrust of men hold her back. [Also V P n (not pron)]

2) PHRASAL VERB To hold someone or something back means to prevent someone from doing something, or to prevent something from happening.

[V P n (not pron)] Stagnation in home sales is holding back economic recovery...

[V n P] Jake wanted to wake up, but sleep held him back.

3) PHRASAL VERB If you hold something back, you keep it in reserve to use later.

[V P n (not pron)] Farmers apparently hold back produce in the hope that prices will rise. [Also V n P]

4) PHRASAL VERB If you hold something back, you do not include it in the information you are giving about something.

[V n P] You seem to be holding something back. [Also V P n (not pron)]

5) PHRASAL VERB If you hold back something such as tears or laughter, or if you hold back, you make an effort to stop yourself from showing how you feel.

[V P n (not pron)] She kept trying to hold back her tears...

[V P n (not pron)] He could no longer hold back convulsive laughter...

[V P] I was close to tears with frustration, but I held back. [Also V n P]

English dictionary. 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • hold back — / hold off [v] repress bit, bridle, check, control, curb, defer, delay, deny, forbear, hold down, hold in, inhibit, keep, keep back, keep out, postpone, prevent, put off, refrain, refuse, restrain, stop, suppress, withhold; concepts 121,130 Ant.… …   New thesaurus

  • hold|back — «HOHLD BAK», noun, adjective. –n. 1. a thing that holds back; restraint; hindrance. 2. the act of restraining or preventing action. 3. an iron or strap on the shaft of a wagon or carriage to which the harness is attached, enabling a horse to hold …   Useful english dictionary

  • hold back — (from (doing something)) to avoid doing something. Unable to hold back, we screamed with laughter. We were worried about viewers reactions, so we held back from broadcasting the show …   New idioms dictionary

  • hold back — hold (something) back to keep something secret. They talk about everything and hold back nothing …   New idioms dictionary

  • hold back — hold, withhold, reserve, detain, retain, *keep, keep back, keep out …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • hold back — ► hold back hesitate. Main Entry: ↑hold …   English terms dictionary

  • hold back — index arrest (stop), avoid (evade), balk, clog, confine, constrain (restrain) …   Law dictionary

  • hold back — verb 1. hold back, as of a danger or an enemy; check the expansion or influence of (Freq. 4) Arrest the downward trend Check the growth of communism in South East Asia Contain the rebel movement Turn back the tide of communism • Syn: ↑check, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • hold back — phrasal verb Word forms hold back : present tense I/you/we/they hold back he/she/it holds back present participle holding back past tense held back past participle held back 1) [transitive] to stop someone or something from moving forwards Ollie… …   English dictionary

  • hold back — v. 1) (D; tr.) ( to keep ) to hold back from (lack of education held him back from promotion) 2) (d; intr.) to hold back with (to hold back with one s reserves) * * * [ həʊld bæk] (D; tr.) ( to keep ) to hold back from (lack of education held him …   Combinatory dictionary

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