hold back

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hold back

1. To physically restrain someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "back." I held him back so that he didn't run after her.
2. To not do something to the fullest extent that one can. Don't hold back on the court—I don't want you to let me win.
3. To obstruct someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "back." Your fears are really holding you back in life.
4. To keep something in one's possession. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hold" and "back." I held back some of the money, so we still have some cash left.
5. To cause one to repeat a grade of school. Am I really being held back? I don't want to repeat junior year—can't I go to summer school or something?
See also: back, hold

hold (someone, something, or an animal) back (from someone or something)

to restrain someone, something, or an animal from getting at or getting to someone or something. The parents held the children back from the cake and ice cream until the hostess said she was ready. Please hold back your dog.
See also: back, hold

hold back (on something)

to withhold something; to give or take only a limited amount. Hold back on the gravy. I'm on a diet. That's enough. Hold back. Save some for the others.
See also: back, hold

hold back

Also, keep back.
1. Retain in one's possession or control, as in He held back vital information, or I managed to keep back my tears. [First half of 1500s]
2. Restrain one-self, as in She held back from joining the others, or I wanted to denounce him right there, but I kept back for fear of making a scene. The first usage dates from the second half of the 1500s, the variant from the early 1800s.
3. Impede the progress of, as in The barriers held back traffic during the funeral procession, or Her daughter was kept back and had to repeat first grade.
See also: back, hold

hold back

v.
1. To restrain someone or something: The principal held back the bully. We held the dog back when the guests arrived.
2. To retain something in one's possession or control: The witness held back valuable information. I held my tears back when I heard the bad news.
3. To impede the progress of someone or something: Your interference is holding me back from completing the job. The manager's incompetence held back the staff from meeting their sales quota.
See also: back, hold
References in periodicals archive ?
Or perhaps you are holding back on other potentially exploitable sources of oil--an overactive sebaceous gland, for example, or your spouse's version of hash brown potatoes?
The Campaign for Real Education, which presses for a return to traditional methods in the nation's classrooms, has calculated that in 1997/98 Birmingham is holding back 21 per cent from its pounds 422 million budget for the city's 450 primary, secondary and special schools in a "red tape" exercise.
ws, shows how in the long term VoIP is likely to be at the core of service providers' portfolios, but today remains a niche market outside of wholesalers, larger enterprises and early adopters in other segments, with concerns about security and reliability holding back take-up and meaning that at the mass market level VoIP is a complement to existing services, rather than an out-and-out substitute - generally it is used to save costs on expensive long-distance and international calls.
Brian Moynihan said that businesses were holding back on buying capital goods until the outcome of negotiations in Washington becomes clear.
Mr Taylor wrote: ``With respect to the deliberate holding back of patient data from the Active Waiting List, the inappropriate deferral of patients .
Instead of holding back academically weak students, struggling fifth- and eighth-graders would be subject to more frequent reading assessments while failing sixth- and ninth-graders would be placed in an intensive reading and writing remedial program.
The Lean Learning Center was founded in 2001 by manufacturing and consulting industry veterans Andy Carlino, Jamie Flinchbaugh and Dennis Pawley to address the gaps and barriers that are holding back companies from successful lean transformation.
THE Government yesterday accused Liverpool education chiefs of holding back pounds 7.
The Los Angeles school system will delay much of its effort to end social promotion next year, holding back underperforming students in just two grades instead of the five originally planned, district officials said Tuesday.
As a demonstration of our belief that gold was beginning a major new bull market we began to build a gold inventory in the 3rd, quarter (ending September 30) of 2001 by commencing a program of holding back a portion of our gold production from sale.
FOOD producer Geest stuck to its full-year profits targets yesterday, despite a spate of operational problems holding back growth.
movie business and HBO, as it makes Time Warner's finances hard to figure out, holding back the company's stock price.