Definition of holdfast in English:



  • 1A firm grip.

    1. 1.1A staple or clamp securing an object to a wall or other surface.
      ‘Lattice panels, wires, or rough surfaces give tendrils and holdfasts a place to latch onto.’
      • ‘Furthermore, the facts that crowns and holdfasts rarely occur attached but that each is preserved with attached incomplete columns, suggest that crowns were broken from their holdfasts prior to burial.’
      • ‘Crowns commonly have some length of column still attached, and holdfasts, less commonly recognized than crowns, also have some length of column attached.’
      brace, vice, press
    2. 1.2Biology A stalked organ by which an alga or other simple aquatic plant or animal is attached to a substrate.
      ‘At the base of the stalk is the holdfast, which cements the alga to the rock and prevents it from being washed away.’
      • ‘Heavy grazing may damage and weaken the holdfasts which anchor the algae.’
      • ‘The algae were decapitated, clamped with vice grips at their holdfasts, and secured to the bottom of a unidirectional current tank with an ordinary house brick.’
      • ‘The rostellum ends in a holdfast by which the cell is fixed to the gut wall of its host.’



/ˈhōl(d)ˌfast/ /ˈhoʊl(d)ˌfæst/