World English Dictionary
hold1 (həʊld)
vb (often foll by to or by) , holds, holding, held
1.  to have or keep (an object) with or within the hands, arms, etc; clasp
2.  (tr) to support or bear: to hold a drowning man's head above water
3.  to maintain or be maintained in a specified state or condition: to hold one's emotions in check; hold firm
4.  (tr) to set aside or reserve: they will hold our tickets until tomorrow
5.  (when intr, usually used in commands) to restrain or be restrained from motion, action, departure, etc: hold that man until the police come
6.  (intr) to remain fast or unbroken: that cable won't hold much longer
7.  (intr) (of the weather) to remain dry and bright: how long will the weather hold?
8.  (tr) to keep the attention of: her singing held the audience
9.  (tr) to engage in or carry on: to hold a meeting
10.  (tr) to have the ownership, possession, etc, of: he holds a law degree from London; who's holding the ace of spades?
11.  (tr) to have the use of or responsibility for: to hold the office of director
12.  (tr) to have the space or capacity for: the carton will hold only eight books
13.  (tr) to be able to control the outward effects of drinking beer, spirits, etc: he can hold his drink well
14.  to remain or cause to remain committed to: hold him to his promise; he held by his views in spite of opposition
15.  (tr; takes a clause as object) to claim: he holds that the theory is incorrect
16.  (intr) to remain relevant, valid, or true: the old philosophies don't hold nowadays
17.  (tr) to keep in the mind: to hold affection for someone
18.  (tr) to regard or consider in a specified manner: I hold him very dear
19.  (tr) to guard or defend successfully: hold the fort against the attack
20.  (intr) to continue to go: hold on one's way
21.  (sometimes foll by on) music to sustain the sound of (a note) throughout its specified duration: to hold on a semibreve for its full value
22.  (tr) computing Compare clear to retain (data) in a storage device after copying onto another storage device or onto another location in the same device
23.  (tr) to be in possession of illegal drugs
24.  hold for, hold good for to apply or be relevant to: the same rules hold for everyone
25.  (South African) holding thumbs holding the thumb of one hand with the other, in the hope of bringing good luck
26.  hold it!
 a.  stop! wait!
 b.  stay in the same position! as when being photographed
27.  hold one's head high to conduct oneself in a proud and confident manner
28.  hold one's own to maintain one's situation or position esp in spite of opposition or difficulty
29.  hold one's peace, hold one's tongue to keep silent
30.  hold water to prove credible, logical, or consistent
31.  there is no holding him he is so spirited or resolute that he cannot be restrained
32.  the act or method of holding fast or grasping, as with the hands
33.  something to hold onto, as for support or control
34.  an object or device that holds fast or grips something else so as to hold it fast
35.  controlling force or influence: she has a hold on him
36.  a short delay or pause
37.  a prison or a cell in a prison
38.  wrestling a way of seizing one's opponent: a wrist hold
39.  music a pause or fermata
40.  a.  a tenure or holding, esp of land
 b.  (in combination): leasehold; freehold; copyhold
41.  a container
42.  archaic a fortified place
43.  get hold of
 a.  to obtain
 b.  to come into contact with
44.  no holds barred all limitations removed
45.  on hold in a state of temporary postponement or delay
[Old English healdan; related to Old Norse halla, Gothic haldan, German halten]

World English Dictionary
hold2 (həʊld)
the space in a ship or aircraft for storing cargo
[C16: variant of hole]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. haldan (Anglian), healdan (W.Saxon), class VII strong verb (past tense heold, pp. healden), from P.Gmc. *khaldanan (cf. O.N. halda, Du. houden, Ger. halten "to hold," Goth. haldan "to tend"), originally "to keep, tend, watch over" (as cattle), later "to have." Ancestral sense is preserved in behold.
Holdup, in sense of "a stoppage," is 1837 in Amer.Eng.; sense of "stopping by force and robbing" is 1851, also in Amer.Eng., probably strengthened by notion of "holding up hands." To hold (one's) own is from early 14c. No holds barred "with all restrictions removed" is first recorded 1942 in theater jargon but is ultimately from wrestling. Phrase hold your horses "be patient" is from 1844. Hold out (v.) is from 1907. The original pp. holden was replaced by held beginning 16c., but survives in some legal jargon and in beholden.

"space in a ship below the lower deck, in which cargo is stowed," 15c. corruption (infl. by hold (v.)) of O.E. hol "hole," infl. by M.Du. hol "hold of a ship," and M.E. hul, which originally meant both "the hold" and "the hull" of a ship (see hull).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

hold definition

  1. tv. & in.
    to possess drugs. (Drugs.) : Gert was holding coke when she was arrested.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Bible Dictionary

Hold definition

a fortress, the name given to David's lurking-places (1 Sam. 22:4, 5; 24:22).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

get hold of

Grasp, obtain; also, get in touch with. For example, If you can just get hold of one end, I'll get the other, or Jane had no luck getting hold of the book she needed, or I've phoned a dozen times but I can't seem to get hold of him. [c. 1300] Also see lay hold of.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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