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hold someone or something over
to retain someone or something (for a period of time). The storm held John over for another day. The manager held over the hit movie for another week.
hold something over someone('s head)
Fig. to have knowledge of something about a person and to use that knowledge to control the person. So I made a mistake when I was young. Are you going to hold that over my head all my life? Please don't hold that over me anymore.
hold somebody overalso hold over somebody
to prevent someone from leaving The authorities held the couple over for two days. Harold Anderson and his accordion act have been held over until March 13th.
hold something overalso hold over something
to delay something I'd like to hold the presentation over until next week. Several flights were held over because of the storm.
1. Postpone or delay, as in Let's hold this matter over until the next meeting. [Mid-1800s]
2. Keep something in a position or state beyond the normal period, as in The film was to be held over for another week. [First half of 1900s]
3. Continue in office past the normal period, as in The committee chair held over until they could find a suitable replacement. [Mid-1600s]
4. hold something over someone. Have an advantage or use a threat to control someone. For example, They knew he'd been caught shoplifting and were sure to hold it over him. [Second half of 1800s]
1. To wield something above someone or something: Hold the flashlight over my head.
2. To postpone or delay something: We held the election over until after vacation. The trip was held over because of the rain.
3. To continue a term of office past the usual length of time. Used chiefly in the passive: The acting governor's term was held over until a successor was elected.
4. To prolong the engagement of something: This show is so popular that they held it over an extra day. The film was held over for weeks.
5. To control someone by threatening to make use of or reveal damaging information: He had no choice but to cooperate with the builders, since they held the legal contract over him. Now that they know my secret, they have something to hold over me.