"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[bih-hohl-duh n] /bɪˈhoʊl dən/
obligated; indebted:
a man beholden to no one.
Origin of beholden
1300-50; Middle English, adj. use of beholden, old past participle of behold
Related forms
unbeholden, adjective
obliged, bound, grateful, liable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for beholden
  • Universities are beholden to more than one consumer of their product.
  • Even local appointments were more beholden to weather and the temperament of one's horse than the accuracy of one's clock.
  • The whole point of campaign finance reform is that candidates aren't beholden to their donors if they get elected.
  • The prospect is that any new government, from either side, will be weak and beholden to fractious parties at the extremes.
  • But developers aren't necessarily beholden to one specific platform.
  • He was too much of an individualist and inborn skeptic to be beholden to any confining ideology for long.
  • She is beholden to the military and cannot risk giving it another grievance.
  • The right is beholden to his media power, which could be trained mercilessly on any prospective successor.
  • The newcomer, not beholden to any parochial interests, administered the necessary moves.
  • The parties remain largely inchoate, the legislators undisciplined and beholden to local rather than national interests.
British Dictionary definitions for beholden


indebted; obliged; under a moral obligation
Word Origin
Old English behealden, past participle of behealdan to behold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beholden

"under obligation," mid-14c., originally past participle of behold (and preserving the original past participle of hold), but a sense directly related to this usage is not recorded among the many and varied meanings attested for behold.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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