English

Definition of hold back phrasal verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  

hold back

 phrasal verb
phrasal verb
 
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Phrasal Verbs

    hold back somebody

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    hold back something

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    hold somebody back

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    hold something back

     
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  1. 1  to prevent somebody/something from moving forward or crossing something The police were unable to hold back the crowd. The dam was not strong enough to hold back the flood waters.
  2. 2  to prevent the progress or development of somebody/something Do you think that mixed-ability classes hold back the better students? We are determined that nothing should hold back the peace talks.
  1. 1  to not tell somebody something they want or need to know to hold back information I think he's holding something back. I'm sure he knows more than he admits.
  2. 2  to stop yourself from expressing how you really feel She just managed to hold back her anger. He bravely held back his tears.

hold back (from doing something)

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hold somebody back (from doing something)

 
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to hesitate or to make somebody hesitate to act or speak She held back, not knowing how to break the terrible news. I wanted to tell him the truth, but something held me back.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: hold back