Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


I'll pay the bill, but I'll keep the account to hold over your head in the future.

Nay, I believe that I might have claimed some hold over him, but I would not.

If we get that, we can hold over; if we don't, we go to smash, and so does Lewiston.

She would have the hold over the land, and she would cure a cancer.

In a way she was still exercising her hold over her meeting.

I don't know why her miserable story has taken such a hold over me.

Surely the enemy of good has most hold over the discontented spirit.

For by this means she would still have some hold over them all.

Could it be possible that Josh Craig had somehow got a hold over her?

I only wish we could hold over and see what goes on, grumbled George.


Old English haldan (Anglian), healdan (West Saxon), "to contain, grasp; retain; foster, cherish," class VII strong verb (past tense heold, past participle healden), from Proto-Germanic *haldanan (cf. Old Saxon haldan, Old Frisian halda, Old Norse halda, Dutch houden, German halten "to hold," Gothic haldan "to tend"), originally "to keep, tend, watch over" (as cattle), later "to have." Ancestral sense is preserved in behold. The original past participle holden was replaced by held beginning 16c., but survives in some legal jargon and in beholden.

Hold back is 1530s, transitive; 1570s, intransitive; hold off is early 15c., transitive; c.1600, intransitive; hold out is 1520s as "to stretch forth," 1580s as "to resist pressure." Hold on is early 13c. as "to maintain one’s course," 1830 as "to keep one’s grip on something," 1846 as an order to wait or stop. To hold (one's) tongue "be silent" is from c.1300. To hold (one's) own is from early 14c. To hold (someone's) hand "give moral support" is from 1935. Phrase hold your horses "be patient" is from 1844. To have and to hold have been paired alliteratively since at least c.1200, originally of marriage but also of real estate.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.