hold by

hold someone or something by something

to grasp someone or something by a particular part. I held him by the shoulder while I talked to him. Donna held the dog by the collar.
See also: by, hold

hold by something

to stick by a promise. I hope that you will hold by our agreement. I will hold by everything I said.
See also: by, hold
References in classic literature ?
This seems to me, sir, as a man-rope; something that weak souls may hold by.