hold (down) the fort

hold (down) the fort

To maintain the proper functioning or order of some situation or place, typically during someone's absence. Don't worry, boss, I'll hold down the fort while you're away.
See also: fort, hold
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hold the fort

Fig. to take care of a place while someone who is usually there is gone, such as a store or one's home. (From western movies.) I'm going next door to visit Mrs. Jones. You stay here and hold the fort. You should open the store at eight o'clock and hold the fort until I get there at ten.
See also: fort, hold
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hold the fort

Assume responsibility, especially in another's absence; also, maintain a secure position. For example, Harry did a good job of holding the fort until his boss recovered, or Can you hold the fort in the kitchen? This expression has been traced to an order given by General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1864, which was repeated as "Hold the fort [against the enemy at Allatoona] at all costs, for I am coming."
See also: fort, hold
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.

hold the fort

mainly BRITISH or

hold down the fort

AMERICAN
If you hold the fort for someone, you look after things for them while they are somewhere else. Her husband holds the fort at their Norfolk home during the week. You can hold down the fort here. I shouldn't be too long.
See also: fort, hold
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

hold the fort

take responsibility for a situation while someone is absent.
See also: fort, hold
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hold the ˈfort

(British English) (American English hold down the ˈfort) (informal) be in charge or taking care of something while the person usually responsible is not there: I’m going abroad for a few weeks, and Kathy will hold the fort while I’m away.
See also: fort, hold
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hold the fort

tv. to remain behind and take care of things. I left John there to hold the fort.
See also: fort, hold
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

hold the fort

Informal
1. To assume responsibility, especially in another's absence.
2. To maintain a secure position.
See also: fort, hold
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hold the fort, to

To keep things going until further support arrives. The expression comes, as might be suspected, from a literal military order. It has been traced to one given by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in 1864, during the American Civil War, to Gen. John M. Corse at Allatoona. Corse was told to give up so as to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, but he refused, saying he had received an order from Sherman saying, “Hold the fort at all costs, for I am coming.” Records show that the actual words had been, “Hold out, relief is coming,” but fort is what caught on and was further popularized when it was made the refrain of a gospel song by Philip Paul Bliss.
See also: hold, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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