hold down(redirected from held someone down)
1. To physically restrain someone or something against a surface, typically a horizontal one, such as the ground. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "down." As a kid, I hated getting shots so much that a nurse usually had to hold me down. Hold down those papers so they don't blow away.
2. To maintain something, often a job. He's never been able to hold down a job, so he'll probably be fired within a week.
3. To limit something. Can you please get the kids to hold down the screaming while I'm on the phone?
4. To be able to digest food without vomiting. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "down." I'm surprised that I was able to hold down that disgusting dinner.
5. To limit or restrict someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "back." Your fears are really holding you down in life. Your relationship is so dysfunctional, though. You guys are really holding each other down.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Also, keep down. Limit, restrain, as in Please hold down the noise. [First half of 1500s] Also see keep down.
2. Work at or discharge one's duties satisfactorily, as in He managed to hold down two jobs at the same time. [Colloquial; 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To push down on something to prevent it from moving or shifting: Hold down the rug while we move the furniture. I held the clothes down so the suitcase would close.
2. To prevent someone or something from advancing: Once that team gets going, you can't hold them down. Don't hold down everyone else just because you're tired.
3. To limit the amount or level of something: Please hold the noise down. Hold down the music.
4. To keep a job for an extended period of time: My cousin can't seem to hold down a job for more than a few months. If I could hold a job down, I wouldn't be broke.
5. To digest food successfully: I'm so sick, I haven't been able to hold down anything. If you eat slowly, maybe you can hold your food down.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.