hold (one's) tongue

(redirected from hold their tongues)

hold (one's) tongue

To stay quiet despite wanting to say something If you want to say something rude to my girlfriend, please hold your tongue, all right?
See also: hold, tongue

hold one's tongue

Fig. to refrain from speaking; to refrain from saying something unpleasant. I felt like scolding her, but I held my tongue. Hold your tongue, John. You can't talk to me that way!
See also: hold, tongue

hold one's tongue

Also, hold or keep one's peace . Keep quiet, remain silent, as in If you don't hold your tongue you'll have to go outside, or Jenny kept her peace about the wedding. The idiom with tongue uses hold in the sense of "restrain," while the others use hold and keep in the sense of "preserve." Chaucer used the first idiom in The Tale of Melibus (c. 1387): "Thee is better hold thy tongue still, than for to speak." The variant appears in the traditional wedding service, telling anyone who knows that a marriage should not take place to "speak now or forever hold your peace." [First half of 1300s] Also see keep quiet.
See also: hold, tongue

hold your tongue

If you hold your tongue, you do not speak. Douglas held his tongue, preferring not to speak out on a politically sensitive issue. Note: People sometimes say hold your tongue as an angry way of telling someone to be quiet. `Hold your tongue, woman,' he had warned her furiously.
See also: hold, tongue

hold your tongue

remain silent. informal
See also: hold, tongue

ˌhold your ˈpeace/ˈtongue

(old-fashioned) say nothing; remain silent although you would like to give your opinion: We don’t want anyone to know what’s happened, so you’d better hold your tongue — do you understand?I didn’t want to start another argument, so I held my peace.
See also: hold, peace, tongue
References in periodicals archive ?
Women are no longer willing to hold their tongues but their voice too often remains unheeded.
These vulnerable women have also to hold their tongues about other acts of physical and psychological violence perpetrated against them," she added.
those who scorn such basic humour, which runs the gamut from A to F, should hold their tongues.
Senior figures around the City squad believe Silva can be a very influential figure this season, and so does Barry, who feels those voices that have been far too quick to judge should hold their tongues.
I serve my country, I serve the Queen and country, so RM and DMH of Pegswood should hold their tongues.
THERE are times in the lives of most people when it can be very difficult for them to hold their tongues.
Which means Gordon Brown's supporters, desperate to use this conference to force Mr Blair to go now, must hold their tongues this week.
Now people who used to hold their tongues about the ugliness of it all have stripped off the gloves.
Let's hope thoughtless people will hold their tongues in future and not pass comment on conditions they simply don't understand.
Patriots need to speak out now or forever hold their tongues.
So Father MacDonald stood in the pulpit during mass and warned his parishioners to hold their tongues.