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hold one's head high

Also, hold one's head up; hold up one's head. Behave proudly; maintain one's dignity. For example, After the bankruptcy Mr. Jones still held his head high, or Grandma told Brian he could hold his head up because he'd tried extremely hard, or After that newspaper article, I'm not sure I'll ever hold up my head again. All these expressions allude to a posture of pride. [ Second half of 1500s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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