behold

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a joy to behold

A thing, event, or experience that creates a profound sense of joy or elation in the spectator. The spring flowers in this part of the country are truly a joy to behold. The play was a joy to behold, full of beauty, warmth, and wit.
See also: behold, joy

a sight to behold

An especially impressive, noteworthy, or remarkable person, event, or thing; something or someone who is very much worth seeing. If you never go anywhere else in your life, make sure you see the Grand Canyon: it's a sight to behold. The new jazz singer is really a sight to behold. She's probably the best we've ever had at the club.
See also: behold, sight

Lo and behold!

Cliché Look here!; Thus! (An expression of surprise.) Lo and behold! There is Fred! He beat us here by taking a shortcut.
See also: and, lo

marvel to behold

someone or something quite exciting or wonderful to see. Our new high-definition television is a marvel to behold. Mary's lovely new baby is a marvel to behold.
See also: behold, marvel

lo and behold

look or what a surprise Carine tried her luck at the lottery and, lo and behold, won $1,500 last month.
Usage notes: used as an exclamation: Lo and behold! You did come after all!
See also: and, behold, lo

lo and behold

  (humorous)
something that you say when you tell someone about something surprising that happened I went into a bar just next to our hotel and, lo and behold, who should I see sitting there but Jim Gibson.
See also: and, behold, lo
References in classic literature ?
And of the virtues too we must behold not the outline merely, as at present--nothing short of the most finished picture should satisfy us.
And do you wish to behold what is blind and crooked and base, when others will tell you of brightness and beauty?
I cried; but, the Sphere leading the way, I followed as if in a dream, till once more his voice arrested me: "Look yonder, and behold your own Pentagonal house, and all its inmates.
So now again, as buoyantly as ever, he went forth to behold the likeness of the Great Stone Face.
But Ernest turned away, melancholy, and almost despondent: for this was the saddest of his disappointments, to behold a man who might have fulfilled the prophecy, and had not willed to do so.
It is not likely that the Mediterranean will ever behold a battle with a greater issue; but when the time comes for another historical fight its bottom will be enriched as never before by a quantity of jagged scrap-iron, paid for at pretty nearly its weight of gold by the deluded populations inhabiting the isles and continents of this planet.
My natural sensibility had already been greatly affected by the sufferings of the unfortunate stranger and no sooner did I first behold him, than I felt that on him the happiness or Misery of my future Life must depend.
In truth, the man who would behold aright the glory of God upon earth must in solitude behold that glory.
In short, we are madly erring, through self-esteem, in believing man, in either his temporal or future destinies, to be of more moment in the universe than that vast "clod of the valley" which he tills and contemns, and to which he denies a soul for no more profound reason than that he does not behold it in operation.
No doubt it is a high satisfaction to behold various countries and the many races of mankind, but the pleasures gained at the time do not counterbalance the evils.
It is well once to behold a squall with its rising arch and coming fury, or the heavy gale of wind and mountainous waves.
It is impossible for an Englishman to behold these distant colonies, without a high pride and satisfaction.
At these words the squire grew still more outrageous than before; so that the parson begged Jones to retire; saying, "You behold, sir, how he waxeth wrath at your abode here; therefore let me pray you not to tarry any longer.