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hold (oneself) together
To calm oneself down and begin to think or act appropriately. I know you're stressed out, but you need to hold yourself together and get this report done! We need you to be focused, so hold yourself together!
hold it together
To remain calm, composed, and ready to do what is necessary, especially in the face of adversity or crisis. I know you're stressed out, but you're the boss, and you need to hold it together for the sake of your team. The whole operation fell into chaos, but the captain held it together and kept his troops focused on the mission at hand.
1. To keep the component parts of something together. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "together." Here's a binder clip to hold your report together. I don't think glue will hold the figurine together for long.
2. To cause a group of people to remain together. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "together." My aunt was the glue that held our family together. After she died, I hardly ever saw my relatives.
3. To calm oneself down and begin to think or act appropriately. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is used between "hold" and "together." I know you're stressed out, but you need to hold yourself together and get this report done! We need you to be focused, so hold yourself together!
4. To be operational or functional. Based on the sounds it's making, I don't think the lawn mower is going to hold together for much longer.
5. To fit together in a logical or sensible manner. I think they're lying because parts of their story just don't hold together.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
hold oneself together
Fig. to maintain one's calmness or sanity. I don't know if I can hold myself together through another horrible day like this one. I don't know how she held herself together through all her troubles.
hold someone or something together
to keep a group of people or things together. She worked at two jobs in order to hold her family together. Our club was failing despite our efforts to hold it together.
hold something together
to keep the parts of an object together. Hold this broken vase together until I get back with the glue. What can I use to hold this together?
[for something] to keep from falling apart. Don't run the engine too fast because it won't hold together. Do you think that this book will hold together much longer?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To keep something from falling apart: The paper clip held together the memos. The rubber band held the manuscript together.
2. To remain functional and whole: I'm surprised that old car is still holding together so well. I hope this computer holds together until I can afford a new one. My family has managed to hold together through some tough times.
3. To maintain one's composure. Used reflexively: Hold yourself together. He held himself together after the accident.
4. To be logically sound: Your explanation doesn't really hold together.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.