- 1 (informal) used to tell somebody to wait or stop synonym wait Hold on a minute while I get my breath back. Hold on! This isn't the right road.
- 2 to survive in a difficult or dangerous situation They managed to hold on until help arrived.
- 3 (informal) used on the telephone to ask somebody to wait until they can talk to the person they want Can you hold on? I'll see if he's here.
to keep something in position These nuts and bolts hold the wheels on. The knob is only held on by sticky tape.
[no passive] to keep holding something/somebody Hold on and don't let go until I say so. He held on to the back of the chair to stop himself from falling. It’s very windy—you’d better hold on to your hat. Synonymsholdhold on cling clutch grip grasp clasp hang onThese words all mean to have somebody/something in your hands or arms.hold to have somebody/something in your hand or arms:She was holding a large box. I held the baby gently in my arms.hold on (to somebody/something) to continue to hold somebody/something; to put your hand on somebody/something and not take your hand away:Hold on and don’t let go until I say so.cling to hold on to somebody/something tightly, especially with your whole body:Survivors clung to pieces of floating debris.clutch to hold somebody/something tightly, especially in your hand; to take hold of something suddenly:She stood there, the flowers still clutched in her hand. He felt himself slipping and clutched at a branch.grip to hold on to something very tightly with your hand:Grip the rope as tightly as you can.grasp to take hold of something firmly:He grasped my hand and shook it warmly. The object of grasp is often somebody’s hand or wrist.clasp (formal) to hold somebody/something tightly in your hand or in your arms:They clasped hands (= held each other’s hands). She clasped the children in her arms. The object of clasp is often your hands, somebody else’s hand or another person.hang on (to something) to hold on to something very tightly, especially in order to support yourself or stop yourself from falling:Hang on tight. We’re off!Patterns to hold/clutch/grip/clasp something in your hand/hands to hold/catch/clasp somebody/something in your arms to hold/clutch/grip/grasp/clasp/hang on to something to hold/cling/hang on to hold/clutch/clasp somebody/something to you to hold/hold on to/cling to/clutch/grip/grasp/clasp/hang on to somebody/something tightly to hold/hold on to/cling to/clutch/grip/grasp/clasp somebody/something firmly to hold/hold on to/clutch/grip/clasp/hang on to somebody/something tight