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[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 beholder
  • He excelled at hagiography and left psychological penetration mostly in the eye of the beholder.
  • Every necessary or organic action pleases the beholder.
  • The stream rose up in the strangest forms, enough to frighten the beholder.
  • My point was that, except in extreme cases, bullying is in the eye of the beholder or doer.
  • Yet another example of beauty indeed being in the eye of the beholder.
  • Secession is in the eye of the beholder, as is rebellion.
  • Gosh dude, if ever the saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder holds true, it is with your selections.
  • Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and it is a joy to behold.
  • It is reasonable to question new results, but it is the beholder who is suspicious of the evidence.
  • The evidence for any such notion is, and always will be, in the subjective eye of the beholder.
British Dictionary definitions for beholder


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 beholder

late 14c., agent noun from 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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