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[bih-held] /bɪˈhɛld/
simple past tense and past participle of behold.
Related forms
unbeheld, adjective


[bih-hohld] /bɪˈhoʊld/
verb (used with object), beheld, beholding.
to observe; look at; see.
look; see:
And, behold, three sentries of the King did appear.
Origin of behold
before 900; Middle English beholden, Old English behaldan to keep. See be-, hold1
Related forms
beholdable, adjective
beholder, noun
unbeholdable, adjective
1. regard, gaze upon, view; watch; discern. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for beheld
  • Jotted impressions are conceived as epiphanies, mystical visions which link the beholder to the object beheld.
  • The all-discerning sun alone can tell, for no other eye beheld it.
  • The board may, when it believes it to be in the public interest, request a hearing beheld.
  • Nevertheless, this case drives home one point: groups will beheld responsible for the activities of their members.
  • Later one sees some of the airplanes brought up on huge elevators and soon they are beheld taking off from the floating base.
  • Some of them had never beheld a motion picture camera until they found themselves acting before one.
  • He beheld him all that day, and all the succeeding night.
  • What may at the moment appear to be of doubtful legality may tomorrow beheld to be clearly appropriate.
  • Eyes never beheld the sea so angry, so high, so covered with foam.
British Dictionary definitions for beheld


the past tense and past participle of behold


verb (often used in the imperative to draw attention to something, archaic or literary) -holds, -holding, -held
to look (at); observe
Derived Forms
beholder, noun
Word Origin
Old English bihealdan; related to Old High German bihaltan, Dutch behouden; see be-, hold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for beheld

past tense and past participle of behold.



Old English bihaldan (West Saxon behealdan) "give regard to, hold in view," also "to keep hold of, to belong to," from be- + haldan, healdan (see hold). Related: Beheld; beholding. A common West Germanic compound, cf. Old Saxon bihaldan "hold, keep," Old Frisian bihalda, Old High German bihaltan, German behalten, but "[t]he application to watching, looking, is confined to English" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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