holding

(redirected from holdings)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

hold a grudge

To harbor persistent and continual resentment or ill feelings toward someone, especially for some slight or wrongdoing he or she has committed in the past. Johnny has been holding a grudge against me since we were 12 because I embarrassed him in front of a girl he liked. Samantha is just so forgiving—I don't think she's ever held a grudge in her life!
See also: grudge, hold

leave (someone) holding the baby

To foist responsibility or guilt for something on someone else; to allow someone else to take the blame for something. Primarily heard in UK. My partner had been cooking the books for years, and he left me holding the baby when the business collapsed.
See also: baby, holding, leave

be left holding the bag

To have responsibility or guilt for something foisted upon oneself; to take the blame for something. Primarily heard in US. My partner had been cooking the books for years, but I was left holding the bag when the business collapsed.
See also: bag, holding, left

hold the reins

To have or be in control, especially of a group, project, or situation. Though my grandfather was the breadwinner, it was my grandmother who truly held the reins in their house. The boss decided she'd hold the reins on this project after the assistant manager bungled the last one so badly.
See also: hold, reins

hold the ring

To monitor or control a conflict or dispute, especially in a neutral or uninvolved manner. Primarily heard in UK. Working in HR, my job is to hold the ring between employees who have a problem, rather than involve myself directly in it.
See also: hold, ring

hold with the hare and run with the hounds

1. To support or attempt to placate both sides of a conflict or dispute. Many have criticized the US government of holding with the hare and running with the hound regarding the territorial dispute between the two nations.
2. To act duplicitously or hypocritically; to speak or act out against something while engaging or taking part in it. How can you be taken seriously as an anti-drug reformer when extensive documents reveal that you are a frequent user of methamphetamine? You can't hold with the hare and run with the hound, Senator.
See also: and, hare, hold, hound, run

in a holding pattern

1. Literally, of an aircraft, in a continuous, generally circular flight pattern over an airport, as while awaiting clearance to land. Due to a security breach in the airport, our plane was kept in a holding pattern for nearly 45 minutes.
2. In a state or condition of inactivity or stagnancy, leading to little or no change, advancement, or development. Relying solely on derivative sequels, many feel that the video game company has been in a holding pattern in recent years.
See also: holding, pattern

hold fast

1. To remain securely adhered (to something). I didn't think the makeshift weld would do the trick, but I'm happy to say that it's holding fast.
2. To remain determined, stalwart, and unyielding, as in one's position or opinion. Though it may be hard, we must hold fast in our pledge to environmental reform.
See also: fast, hold

hold firm

1. To remain securely adhered (to something). I didn't think the makeshift weld would do the trick, but I'm happy to say that it's holding firm.
2. To remain determined, stalwart, and unyielding, as in one's position or opinion. Though it may be hard, we must hold firm in our pledge to environmental reform.
See also: firm, hold

not hold still for (something)

To not accept, tolerate, endure, or put up with something. I won't hold still for Jonathan's infidelity anymore: I'm filing for divorce tomorrow! The people of this country will not hold still for the persecution administered by the despots and corrupt politicians in government.
See also: hold, not, still

hold a wolf by the ears

To be in a difficult situation from which it is as dangerous to extricate oneself as it is to remain in it. I'm afraid we're holding a wolf by the ears regarding our current healthcare system. It would be unthinkable to completely overhaul it, but it is dangerously untenable in its current condition. The authoritarian regime is holding the wolf by the ears with the way it treats the population.
See also: ear, hold, wolf

hold an eel by the tail

To try to engage or somehow detain an elusive person or thing. Trying to get in touch with my insurance company is like trying to holding an eel by the tail—I can never get through to a live person! Every time we try to pin charges on the mob boss, it's as hard as holding an eel by the tail because he somehow weasels his way out of them!
See also: eel, hold, tail

hold (all) the cards

To be in a position of power or control over someone or something else. The phrase alludes to having the best cards in a card game (which would lead to victory). Now that Charlotte knows about us, she holds all the cards—I imagine it won't be long until she tells my wife what she saw. I saw my brother break the vase, so I hold the cards right now and can get him to do anything I want.
See also: card, hold

holding pattern

1. Literally, of an aircraft, a continuous, generally circular flight pattern over an airport, as while awaiting clearance to land. Due to a security breach in the airport, our plane was kept in a holding pattern for nearly 45 minutes.
2. A state or condition of inactivity or stagnancy, leading to little or no change, advancement, or development. Relying solely on derivative sequels, many feel that the video game company has been in a holding pattern in recent years
See also: holding, pattern

hold a grudge

(against someone) Go to bear a grudge (against someone).
See also: grudge, hold

leave someone holding the bag

 and leave someone holding the baby
Fig. to allow someone to take all the blame; to leave someone appearing to be guilty. They all ran off and left me holding the bag. It wasn't even my fault. It was all the mayor's fault, but he wasn't left holding the bag.
See also: bag, holding, leave

leave somebody holding the bag

to make someone else take all of the responsibility If we loan the company money we want to be sure it won't fail and leave us holding the bag.
See also: bag, holding, leave

be left holding the baby

  (British) also be left holding the bag (American)
to suddenly have to deal with a difficult problem or responsibility because someone else has decided they do not want to deal with it He abandoned the project after a year because he felt that it was going to fail and I was left holding the baby.
See also: baby, holding, left

leave holding the bag

Abandon someone, force someone to bear the responsibility or blame. For example, Her friends said they were too busy to help with cleaning up, and left Lucy holding the bag . This expression is often put as be left holding the bag, as in When they quit the clean-up committee, Lucy was left holding the bag. This idiom grew out of the earlier give one the bag (to hold), which dates from about 1600 and alludes to being left with an empty bag while others have taken the valuable contents. Also see leave in the lurch.
See also: bag, holding, leave
References in classic literature ?
He looked at the old men, Natty sitting with his hand to his ear, like a trumpet, and Mohegan bending forward, with an arm raised to a level with his face, holding the forefinger elevated as a signal for attention, and laughed aloud at what he deemed to be imaginary sounds.
he repeated hoarsely, holding the lamp over the open chest.
A good many of these bigger ones, however, we could see by holding them up to the light, were a little yellow, "off coloured," as they call it at Kimberley.
Dolokhov turned round and, again holding on with both hands, arranged himself on his seat.
Dolokhov still sat in the same position, only his head was thrown further back till his curly hair touched his shirt collar, and the hand holding the bottle was lifted higher and higher and trembled with the effort.
Now it was that my ambitions ebbed away, and I became timid, holding tightly to my mother as she climbed and swung through space.
And then the wheel would reappear, and Wolf Larsen's broad shoulders, his hands gripping the spokes and holding the schooner to the course of his will, himself an earth-god, dominating the storm, flinging its descending waters from him and riding it to his own ends.
Wolf Larsen repeated his manoeuvre, holding off and then rounding up to windward and drifting down upon it.
She was still holding together; but whether or not they had yet launched the boat, I was too far off and too low down to see.
His was not the ideal position for espionage, for he was too far off to hear what they said, and the light was too dim to enable him to see what it was that Bill was holding.
In those days Dudley Pickering had not thought very highly of Fenimore Cooper, holding his work deficient in serious and scientific interest; but now it seemed to him that there had been something in the man after all, and he resolved to get some of his books and go over them again.
After that he had to lie on his stomach for some time, holding to a ring-bolt, getting his breath now and then, and swallowing salt water.
He moved, climbing high up, disappearing low down, with a restless, purposeful industry, and when he stood still, holding the guard-rail in front of the starting-gear, he would keep glancing to the right at the steam-gauge, at the water-gauge, fixed upon the white wall in the light of a swaying lamp.
Gliding along the silent streets, and holding his course where they were darkest and most gloomy, the man who had left the widow's house crossed London Bridge, and arriving in the City, plunged into the backways, lanes, and courts, between Cornhill and Smithfield; with no more fixedness of purpose than to lose himself among their windings, and baffle pursuit, if any one were dogging his steps.
His obsequious follower stood holding the torch above his head, and then the observer saw for the first time, from his place of concealment, that he was blind.