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hold up - definition and synonyms

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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyhold up
he/she/itholds up
present participleholding up
past tenseheld up
past participleheld up
  1. 1
    [transitive] to hold something in a high position, so that it can be seen

    She held up her hand for silence.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to support someone or something so that they do not fall down

    Her legs were almost too shaky to hold her up.

  3. 3
    [transitive] [often passive] to cause a delay for someone or something, or to make them late

    Sorry I’m late, but my flight was held up.

    She got held up at work.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to steal from a person, business, or vehicle by threatening them with a gun or other weapon

    An armed robber held up the bank last week.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to remain strong or in a fairly good condition

    There were fears that her ankle might not hold up for the competition.

    Prices had held up well until late 1997.

See also main entry: hold


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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