Meaning of hold back in English:

hold back

See synonyms for hold back

Translate hold back into Spanish

phrasal verb

  • 1Hesitate to act or speak.

    ‘he held back, remembering the mistake he had made before’
    • ‘Whereas most DJs put on this all pervasive and all-knowing on-air persona, he holds back and comes across as merely another average guy just trying to get his head around this strange world we live in.’
    • ‘However, it holds back from actually making a critical judgment.’
    • ‘Our very opinionated panel never holds back on the big stories of the week.’
    • ‘This is the writer's strength - when she holds back she makes the reader want to take those imaginative leaps.’
    • ‘The fear of doing something wrong holds back so many people when learning how to do things.’
    • ‘There was little indication yesterday that producers were holding back but there are still four days to go.’
    • ‘Part of me is still for holding back as I don't want either of us to get hurt, but each day we just seem to grow deeper and deeper in love with each other.’
    • ‘I've been holding back from commenting on them until I've had a chance to let my impressions settle a little.’
    • ‘This match began in a frenzy of punches with neither boxer holding back nor defending themselves with great aplomb.’
    • ‘We're holding back on our enthusiasm until we are told that exchange of contracts has been scheduled firmly.’
    hesitate, pause, stop oneself, restrain oneself, desist, forbear, discontinue, withhold from doing something, refrain from doing something
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1hold something back, hold back somethingRefuse or be unwilling to make something known.
      ‘you're not holding anything back from me, are you?’
      • ‘She leaves a suicide note, whose contents are held back until an appropriately melodramatic turning point.’
      • ‘Today, government figures are held back not only by a fear of being rumbled, but a terror that they won't be able to pull it off.’
      • ‘Well, one of the reasons I think there is a whiff of scandal here, at least as far as journalists are concerned, is because a lot of this information was held back by the administration.’
      • ‘What are you holding back that you're afraid to tell me?’
      • ‘You know you've developed a good relationship with your students when they tell you about their weekends without holding anything back.’
      withhold, hide, conceal, keep back, keep secret, keep hidden, keep silent about, keep quiet about, hush up, refuse to disclose, suppress
      View synonyms
  • 2hold someone or something back, hold back someone or somethingPrevent or restrict the progress or development of someone or something.

    ‘my lack of experience held me back a bit’
    • ‘the company has been held back by a lack of funding’
    • ‘It holds me back from progressing as fast as I'd like.’
    • ‘We will not allow this experience to hold us back from doing anything.’
    • ‘We have so many ideas on promoting the history of soccer in America but our lack of funds is holding us back.’
    • ‘She wanted to experience life and didn't want to have anything to hold her back.’
    • ‘Remember, my sickness had held me back from exploring things that other young people could experience.’
    • ‘It is, I suppose, a lack of confidence about architectural values that holds us back from bold new statements and the imaginative adaptation of old buildings.’
    • ‘Apparently I am smarter than average, quite bright, but my lack self-confidence and initiative is holding me back.’
    • ‘I know what holds me back: negativity, lack of confidence, anxiousness, and expectations.’
    • ‘I didn't want something like lack of money to hold you back.’
    • ‘I've missed my friends and family and although we have made some new friends, the language barrier holds you back.’
    hinder, hamper, inhibit, impede, obstruct, check, curb, block, thwart, balk, hamstring, restrain, frustrate, retard, delay, prevent from making progress, stand in someone's way
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1hold someone back, hold back someoneUS Make a pupil repeat a year at school because of poor marks.
      • ‘Daniels was held back a year, repeating the eighth grade’