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hold on to - definition and synonyms

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phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyhold on to
he/she/itholds on to
present participleholding on to
past tenseheld on to
past participleheld on to

or hold onto

  1. 1
    hold on to something to hold something tightly or carefully so that you do not drop it or do not fall

    Hold on to the seat in front when we go round the corner.

    Hold onto your bag, won’t you?

  2. 2
    hold on to something to not lose something, or to not let someone else have it

    Hold on to the instructions in case you have any problems.

  3. 3
    hold on to something to continue feeling or believing something

    I always held on to the belief that one day he would succeed.

  4. 4
    hold on to someone to stop someone from leaving you or from doing what they want

    A mother can’t hold on to her children for ever.

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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