hold up(redirected from held up)
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1. verb To physically keep something elevated. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "up." I've never had a better feeling than when I held up that trophy. You're going to need to hold your skirt up all night so that it doesn't drag on the floor.
2. verb To physically keep someone or something upright. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "up." He was so sick that I practically had to hold him up in the pharmacy line.
3. verb To delay or slow someone or something down. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "up." A discrepancy like this could hold up the sale of our house. You better leave now if you don't want rush hour traffic to hold you up.
4. verb To rob someone or something, especially when armed. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "up." You'll definitely go to jail if they find out you held up a gas station! Do you think you would recognize the guy who held you up at gunpoint?
5. verb To use or emphasize someone or something as an example. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "up." Stop holding my behavior up as some paragon of virtue.
6. verb To withstand use. Those cheap boots won't hold up through one winter.
7. verb To withstand scrutiny or some form of challenge. Her story won't hold up to a cross-examination, don't worry.
8. verb To do as was promised in an agreement or bargain; to carry through with what one agreed to do. I've delivered the cash as you instructed. Now you have to hold up your end of the bargain!
9. verb To endure or persevere. Mom hasn't been holding up too well since Dad's death.
10. verb To wait or pause. Often used as an imperative. Hold up—what exactly are you trying to tell me? Tell Hank to hold up for a second before he turns on the power.
11. noun A robbery, especially one in which the robber is armed. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. Did they ever catch who was behind the hold-up at the gas station?
12. noun A delay. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. What's the hold-up with that order? Is something out of stock?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
hold someone or something up
1. Lit. to keep someone or something upright. Johnny is falling asleep. Please hold him up until I prepare the bed for him. Hold up the window sash while I prop it open.
2. Fig. to rob someone or a group. Some punk tried to hold me up. The mild-looking man held up the bank and shot a teller.
3. Fig. to delay someone or something. Driving the kids to school held me up. An accident on Main Street held up traffic for thirty minutes.
hold up (on someone or something)
to delay or postpone further action on someone or something. I know you are getting ready to choose someone, but hold up on Tom. There may be someone better. Hold up on the project, would you? We need to hold up for a while longer.
1. Lit. to endure; to last a long time. How long will this cloth hold up? I want my money back for this chair. It isn't holding up well.
2. and hold up (for SOme-one or something) to wait; to stop and wait for someone or something. Hold up for Wallace. He's running hard to catch up to us. Hold up a minute.
(for someone or something) Go to hold up; wait up (for someone or something).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Offer or present as an example, as in The teacher held Bernie's essay up as a model for the class to follow. [c. 1600]
2. Obstruct or delay, as in We were held up in traffic. [c. 1900]
3. Rob, as in He was held up in a dark alley, with no help nearby. This usage, which gave rise to the noun holdup for a robbery, alludes to the robbers' demand that the victims hold their hands high. [Late 1800s]
4. Also, hold out. Continue to function without losing force or effectiveness, endure. For example, We held up through that long bitter winter, or The nurse was able to hold out until someone could relieve her. [Late 1500s]
5. See hold one's head high.
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 raise something or someone in the air: I held the baby up over my head. The police officer held up the stop sign so drivers could see it.
2. To support something or someone in an upright position: The nurse held the patient up as they walked to the bathroom. The coach held up the injured athlete.
3. To maintain or adhere to some part of an arrangement or agreement: You need to hold up your part of the deal, or your partners will lose trust in you. We intend to hold our end of the bargain up.
4. To obstruct or delay something or someone: The bad weather is holding flights up. The traffic jam held up thousands of commuters.
5. To rob someone or some place while armed, often at gunpoint: The armed robbers held the convenience store up. The gangsters held up the bank.
6. To offer or present something as an example: The professor held the essay up as a model for the students. The company president held up his record as one that couldn't be surpassed.
7. To continue to function without losing force or effectiveness; cope: The company held up under financial stress. How are you holding up?
8. hold up to To withstand the force of something: The dye in my sweater can't hold up to the strong chemicals in the detergent.
9. hold up to To withstand comparison with something: Although I practice every day, my singing can't hold up to your beautiful voice.
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.