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1. To keep oneself from releasing some bodily function. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "in." I had to pee, but there was no toilet nearby so I had to just hold it in. Please hold in your burps. It's really disgusting to let them out like that.
2. To not share, release, or reveal one's emotions. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "in." I wanted to hold my tears in at the funeral, but I found myself blubbering in no time. I've been holding in my anger for long enough. Now I'm going to tell you how I really feel! I tried not to laugh, but I just couldn't hold it in.
3. To pull one's belly inward so as to minimize its appearance. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "in." I always hold in my gut whenever I'm having my picture taken. I agree that the dress looks nice, but don't get it if you have to hold your stomach in while you wear it.
See also: hold
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
hold something inand keep something in
1. and hold something inside ((of) one(self)); keep something inside ((of) one(self)) Fig. to keep one's emotions inside oneself. You really shouldn't hold those feelings inside of you. I have kept all this inside myself too long. You shouldn't hold in all that anger.
2. Lit. to hold in one's stomach, gut, belly, etc. Hold your belly in so you don't look like a blimp. Hold in your stomach.
See also: hold
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.