The word ‘hold‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to keep or grasp in your hands.

For example:

  • He is being held on suspicion of murder. (keep)
  • Kian can hold the shopping bags. (grasp)


Hold is an irregular verb. The past tense is held and the past participle is held.

phrasal verbs with hold

Phrasal verbs with ‘hold’ include:

  • hold back
    meaning – stop something from happening
    example – The suspect held back some vital information when being questioned over the murder.
  • hold down
    meaning – keep a job or prevent someone/something from moving
    example – My cousin has held down a job for 6 months since leaving prison.
  • hold off
    meaning – no bad weather or stop someone attacking/beating you
    example – Rangers held off the challengers and kept the title.
  • hold on
    meaning – wait or hold something tightly
    example – Hold on! I need to check I’ve turned the oven off before we leave.
  • hold on to
    meaning – keep, look after, don’t lose
    example – Can you hold on to my car keys for me? The pockets aren’t deep enough in these shorts.
  • hold out
    meaning – hold something in front of you
    example – The beggar held out a cup and asked people for money.
  • hold out for
    meaning – wait for something better
    example – I’ve held out for long enough. I don’t think I’m going to find my Prince Charming.
  • hold together
    meaning – keep intact
    example – I just about held it together at the funeral, it was so upsetting.
  • hold up
    meaning – a delay or rob a place using violence
    example – I’ll be a little late for the meeting, I’ve been held up at home.

picture phrasal verbs with hold

phrasal verbs with hold

Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘hold’ in more detail and see some examples in use.

phrasal verbs with hold - hold back
phrasal verbs with hold - hold down
phrasal verbs with hold - hold off
phrasal verbs with hold - hold on to
phrasal verbs with hold - hold on
phrasal verbs with hold - hold out for
phrasal verbs with hold - hold out
phrasal verbs with hold - hold together
phrasal verbs with hold - hold up

You can download a table of phrasal verbs with hold below.