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