hold down(redirected from hold them down)
1. To physically restrain someone or something against a surface, typically a horizontal one, such as the ground. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "down." As a kid, I hated getting shots so much that a nurse usually had to hold me down. Hold down those papers so they don't blow away.
2. To maintain something, often a job. He's never been able to hold down a job, so he'll probably be fired within a week.
3. To limit something. Can you please get the kids to hold down the screaming while I'm on the phone?
4. To be able to digest food without vomiting. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "down." I'm surprised that I was able to hold down that disgusting dinner.
1. Also, keep down. Limit, restrain, as in Please hold down the noise. [First half of 1500s] Also see keep down.
2. Work at or discharge one's duties satisfactorily, as in He managed to hold down two jobs at the same time. [Colloquial; 1800s]
1. To push down on something to prevent it from moving or shifting: Hold down the rug while we move the furniture. I held the clothes down so the suitcase would close.
2. To prevent someone or something from advancing: Once that team gets going, you can't hold them down. Don't hold down everyone else just because you're tired.
3. To limit the amount or level of something: Please hold the noise down. Hold down the music.
4. To keep a job for an extended period of time: My cousin can't seem to hold down a job for more than a few months. If I could hold a job down, I wouldn't be broke.
5. To digest food successfully: I'm so sick, I haven't been able to hold down anything. If you eat slowly, maybe you can hold your food down.