English dictionary



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English verb: hold back

1. hold back (competition) hold back, as of a danger or an enemy; check the expansion or influence of


SamplesArrest the downward trend.
Check the growth of communism in South East Asia.
Contain the rebel movement.
Turn back the tide of communism.


Synonymsarrest, check, contain, stop, turn back


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody.
Something ----s something


Broader (hypernym)defend


Narrower (hyponym)cut down, cut out

2. hold back (social) keep under control; keep in check


SamplesSuppress a smile.
Keep your temper.
Keep your cool.


Synonymskeep, keep back, restrain


Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Somebody ----s somebody PP


Broader (hypernym)bottle up, inhibit, suppress


Narrower (hyponym)bottle up, check, confine, contain, control, curb, hold, hold, hold in, inhibit, moderate, suppress

3. hold back (stative) refrain from doing


SamplesShe forbore a snicker.


Synonymsforbear


Pattern of useSomebody ----s


Broader (hypernym)forbear, refrain

4. hold back (stative) wait before acting


SamplesThe scientists held off announcing their results until they repeated the experiment.


ExamplesThey hold back a long time


Synonymshold off, wait


Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s VERB-ing


Broader (hypernym)act, move


Narrower (hyponym)delay, hold out

5. hold back (possession) secure and keep for possible future use or application


SamplesThe landlord retained the security deposit.
I reserve the right to disagree.


ExamplesThey hold back the money


Synonymshold, keep back, retain


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something


Broader (hypernym)hold on, keep


Narrower (hyponym)hold down

6. hold back (perception) hold back; keep from being perceived by others


SamplesShe conceals her anger well.


Synonymsconceal, hold in


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something


Narrower (hyponym)occult









Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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