English dictionary

Hint: Question mark (?) is a wildcard. Question mark substitutes one character.

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.


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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