A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Hold (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 1005, 1006

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 1005, 1006

To Hold. v.a. preter. held; part. pass. held or holden. [haldan, Gothick; haldan, Saxon; henden, Dutch.]

  1. To grasp in the hand; to gripe; to clutch.

    France, thou may'st hold a serpent by the tongue,
    A fasting tyger safer by the tooth,
    Than keep in peace that hand which thou do'st hold.

  2. To keep; to retain; to gripe fast.

    Too late it was for satyrs to be told,
    Or ever hope recover her again;
    In vain he seeks, that having cannot hold.
    Fairy Queen.

    The loops held one curtain to another. Ex. xxxvi. 12.

    Prove all things: hold fast that which is good. 2 Thes. v.

  3. To maintain as an opinion.

    Men with assurance hold and profess, without ever having examined. Locke.

  4. To consider as good or bad; to hold in regard.

    I as a stranger to my heart and me
    Hold thee from this for ever.
    Shakesp. King Lear.

    I hold him but a fool, that will endanger
    His body for a girl that loves him not.

    One amongst the fair'st of Greece,
    That holds his honour higher than his ease.

    This makes thee blessed peace so light to hold,
    Like Summer's flies that fear not Winter's cold.

    Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such in esteem. St. Paul.

    He would make us amends, and spend some time with us, if we held his company and conference agreeable. Bacon.

    As he is the father of English poetry, so I hold him in the same degree of veneration as the Grecians held Homer, or the Romans Virgil. Dryden's Fables, Preface.

                Ye Latian dames, if any here
    Hold your unhappy queen Amata dear!
    The orgies and nocturnal rites prepare.
    Dryden's Æn.

  5. To have any station.

    The star bids the shepherd fold;
    Now the top of heav'n doth hold.

    And now the strand, and now the plain they held;
    Their ardent eyes with bloody streaks were fill'd.

    Observe the youth who first appears in sight,
    And holds the nearest station to the light.
    Dryden's Æn.

    How pleasant and joyful a thing is it to have a light held us forth from heaven to guide our steps. Cheyne's Phil. Princ.

  6. To possess; to enjoy.

    Holding Corioli in the name of Rome,
    Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
    To let him slip at will.
    Shakespeare's Coriolanus.

    The castle, holden by a garrison of Germans, he commanded to be besieged. Knolles's History of the Turks.

    Assuredly it is more shame for a man to lose that which he holdeth, than to fail in getting that which he never had. Hayw.

  7. To possess in subordination.

    The duke was willing to yield himself unto Solyman as his vassal, and of him to hold his seigniory for a yearly tribute. Knolles's History of the Turks.

  8. To suspend; to refrain.

    Death! what do'st? O hold thy blow!
    What thou do'st, thou do'st not know.

  9. To stop; to restrain.

    We cannot hold mortality's strong hand. Shak. K. John.

    Fell, banning hag! inchantress, hold thy tongue. Shakesp.

    Men in the midst of their own blood, and so furiously assailed, held their hands, contrary to the laws of nature and necessity. Bacon's War with Spain.

    When straight the people, by no force compell'd,
    Nor longer from their inclination held,
    Break forth at once.

    Unless thou find occasion, hold thy tongue;
    Thyself or others, careless talk may wrong.

    Hold your laughter, and then divert your fellow-servants. Swift's Directions to the Footman.

  10. To fix to any condition.

                His gracious promise you might,
    As cause had call'd you up, have held him to.
    Shak. Coriol.

  11. To preserve; to keep.

    Stay but a little; for my cloud of dignity
    Is held from falling with so weak a wind,
    That it will quickly drop: my day is dim.
    Shakes. Hen. IV.

  12. To confine to a certain state.

    The most High then shewed signs for then, and held still the flood, 'till they were passed over. 2 Esdr. xiii. 14.

  13. To detain.

    Him God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. Acts.

  14. To retain; to continue.

    These reasons mov'd her star-like husband's heart;
    But still he held his purpose to depart.

  15. To solemnize; to celebrate.

    The queen this day here holds her parliament,
    But little thinks we shall be of her council.
    Shakesp. H. VI.

    He held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. 1 Sa.

  16. To offer; to propose.

    Christianity came into the world with the greatest simplicity of thought and language, as well as life and manners, holding forth nothing but piety, charity, and humility, with the belief of the Messiah and of his kingdom. Temple.

    My account is so far from interfering with Moses, that it holds forth a natural and unforced interpretation of his sense. Woodward's Natural History.

  17. To conserve; not to violate.

    Her husband heard it, and held his peace. Numb. xxx. 7.

    She said, and held her peace: Æneas went,
    Unknowing whom the sacred sibyl meant.
    Dryden's Æn.

  18. To manage; to handle intellectually.

    Some in their discourse desire rather commendation of wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than of judgment in discerning what is true. Bacon, Essay 33.

  19. To maintain.

    Whereupon they also made engines against their engines, and held them battle a long season. 1 Mac. vi. 52.

  20. To form; to plan.

    The Pharisees went out, and held a counsel against him. Mat. xii. 14.

  21. To carry on; to continue.

    He came to the land's end, where he holding his course, in a narrow passage towards the West, for the space of divers days, did at length peaceably pass through the straits. Abbot.

  22. To Hold forth. To offer to exhibit.

    Observe the connection of these ideas in the propositions, which those books hold forth and pretend to teach as truths. Locke.

  23. To Hold in. To restrain; to govern by the bridle.

    I have lately sold my nag, and honestly told his greatest fault, which is, that he became such a lover of liberty that I could scarce hold him in. Swift.

  24. To Hold in. To restrain in general.

    These mens hastiness the warier sort of you doth not commend; ye wish they had held themselves longer in, and not so dangerously flown abroad. Hooker, Preface.

  25. To Hold off. To keep at a distance.

            Although 'tis fit that Cassio have his place;
    Yet if you please to hold him off a while,
    You shall by that perceive him.
    Shakespeare's Othello.

    The object of sight doth strike upon the pupil of the eye directly, without any interception; whereas the cave of the ear doth hold off the sound a little from the organ. Bacon.

    I am the better acquainted with you for absence, as men are with themselves for affliction: absence does but hold off a friend, to make one see him truly. Pope to Swift.

  26. To Hold on. To continue; to protract; to push forward.

    They took Barbarossa, holding on his course to Africk, who brought great fear upon the country. Knolles's Hist. of the Turks.

    If the obedience challenged were indeed due to these laws, then did our brethren both begin the quarrel and hold it on. Sanderson's Judgment in one View.

  27. To Hold out. To extend; to stretch forth.

    The king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. Esth. v. 2.

  28. To Hold out. To offer; to propose.

    Fortune holds out these to you, as rewards. Ben. Johnson.

  29. To Hold out. To continue to do or suffer.

    He cannot long hold out these pangs,
    Th' incessant care and labour of his mind.
    Shakes. H. IV.

  30. To Hold up. To raise aloft.

    I should remember him: does he not hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait? Shakes. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    The hand of the Almighty visibly held up, and prepared to take vengeance. Locke.

  31. To Hold up. To sustain; to support.

    There is no man at once either excellently good or extremely evil, but grows either as he holds himself up in virtue, or lets himself slide to viciousness. Sidney.

    It followeth, that all which they do in this sort proceedeth originally from some such agent as knoweth, appointeth, holdeth up, and actually frameth the same. Hooker, b. i. s. 3.

    The time misorder'd doth in common sense
    Crowd us, and crush us to this monstrous form,
    To hold our safety up.
    Shakespeare's Henry IV. p. ii.

            And so success of mischief shall be born,
    And heir from heir shall hold his quarrel up.
    Shakes. H. IV.

    Those princes have held up their sovereignty best, which have been sparing in those grants. Davies on Ireland.

    We have often made one considerably thick piece of marble take and hold up another, having purposely caused their flat surfaces to be carefully ground and polished. Boyle.

    Then do not strike him dead with a denial,
    But hold him up in life, and cheer his soul
    With the faint glimmering of a doubtful hope.
    Addis. Cato.

Sources: The Bible - 1. Maccabees (8) · The Bible - 1. Samuel (18) · The Bible - 2. Esdras (5) · The Bible - 2. Thessalonians (1) · Abbot, George (11) · The Bible - Acts (20) · Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Boyle, Robert (84) · Cheyne, George (26) · Shakespeare's Coriolanus (80) · Crashaw, Richard (5) · Davies, John (45) · Denham, John (75) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Esther (3) · The Bible - Exodus (25) · Fairfax, Edward (30) · Hayward, John (42) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 1 (48) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3 (39) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Jonson, Ben (70) · Shakespeare's King John (43) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Knolles, Richard (44) · Locke, John (269) · The Bible - Matthew (21) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Milton, John (449) · The Bible - Numbers (12) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · The Bible - Philippians (1) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Sanderson, Robert (8) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Temple, William (54) · Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (36) · Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona (41) · Waller, Edmund (63) · Woodward, John (78)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Gothic (10) · Saxon (215) · Verb Active (289)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Hold (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 25, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/hold-verb-active/.

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