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1. To physically grip something. Hold onto the railing so that you don't lose your balance.
2. To wait. Often used as an imperative. Hey, hold on—that's not what I'm saying at all.
3. To continue despite challenges. The company will not be able to hold on if we lose money again this quarter.
(to someone or something) Go to hang on (to someone or something).
to be patient. Just hold on. Everything will work out in good time. If you will just hold on, everything will probably be all right.
Hold on (a minute)!and Hold on for a minute!
Stop right there!; Wait a minute! (Minute can be replaced by moment, second, or other time periods.) Bob: Hold on, Tom. Tom: What? Bob: I want to talk to you. "Hold on!" hollered Tom. "You're running off with my shopping cart!"
See also: hold
1. Also, hold on to. Maintain one's grip, cling, as in Hold on to your hat in this wind, or The early Christians held on to their beliefs despite strong opposition. [Early 1500s]
2. Continue to do something, persist, as in Please hold on for a while longer. [Late 1800s]
3. Stop, wait, as in Hold on! We can't go past this gate. [Mid-1800s]
4. Remain on a telephone line, as in If you can hold on a minute I'll go and find her. [Late 1800s]
1. To maintain a grip on something; cling to something: I held on to the ledge until someone could pull me to safety. You should hold on to the railing when you walk down the stairs.
2. To persist or persevere: Our organization has managed to hold on through some hard times.
3. To wait for a short time: Hold on; I'll be with you in a moment. The operator asked me to hold on while processing my request.