Middle English Dictionary Entry

hōlden v.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To take hold of (sb. or sth.), hold with the hand, grasp; clasp (one's hand); capture (sb.), seize; embrace (sb.); ~ nese (nose), hold one's nose; (b) to grasp; take hold; remain fast; also fig.; (c) of disease, pain, lovesickness, sorrow: to seize (sb., a bodily organ), affect; ~ harde (hote), afflict (sb.) sorely.
(a) To bear (sth.) in the hand or hands; carry (sth.), hold (a child, a cub); also, bear (sth.) on one's person; ~ abrode, hold (sth.) wide; ~ on heigh, hold (sth.) high or above; (b) fig. to endure (a sentence, penance); (c) in proverbial expressions: ~ the candel [see candel 1b. (b)]; ~ lanterne [see lanterne]; ~ thumb in fist [see fist 2. (c)].
(a) To keep (sb. or sth.) from falling, support; also fig.; -- usually with up; (b) to raise (sth.), lift; ~ up honde(s, raise (one's) hand or hands (esp. in taking an oath, in making a promise, or in prayer); (c) to extend (sth.), reach out; ~ at, hold (sth.) against (sth.); ~ on, stretch out (sth., one's hand) over (sth.), lay (one's hands) on (sb.); ~ over, extend (one's protecting hand) over (sb.); ~ to, extend (sth.) to (sb.), hold (sth.) under (someone's nose); (d) to point (sth. in a direction); ~ nethereward, lower (the eyes); ~ up, raise the point of (one's spear); (e) to hold (a bodily part in a place, position, or manner); ~ a)doun, lower (one's head), hang (one's head); ~ up, hold up (one's head), raise (one's tail); (f) ~ the hed loue, to be humble or meek; ~ up hed, be of good cheer; maintain one's dignity.
(a) To enclose (sth.), hold (sth.) inside, contain; (b) to soak up (fluid); (c) to include (sth.).
(a) To stick, be adhesive; ppl. holding, of liquids: thick or viscous; of foods: binding, hard to digest; (b) to fasten (things); ~ togedere; of glue, a magnetized stone: hold (sth.) fast; also fig.; (c) to stick together, remain unbroken; ~ fast, ~ togedere(s; ~ to (with), be attached to (sth.).
(a) To get (sth.), acquire, obtain; ~ fro, take (sth.) from (sb.); ben holden to, be taken by (sb.); (b) fig. to obtain (goodness, a blow, etc.); (c) ~ up, to take (sth.) upon (oneself), take charge of (sth.); ~ o, take it upon (oneself to do sth.).
(a) To own (goods, livestock, a coat of arms, etc.); have (sth.) in one's possession; ~ communite of, have ownership of (possessions) in common; haven and ~; (b) to hold (an estate, a manor, land, etc., from a feudal lord); also fig.; ~ in chef, hold (an estate) directly (from the king) [see chef 4. (a)]; ~ in douere, hold (property) by right of dower; -- often with of, on, under phrase; haven and ~ (in fe), ~ seisine, have possession of (property); (c) ~ of, to owe allegiance to (a person or country); be faithful to (God); ~ in chef of, be (someone's) vassal; also fig.; (d) of land: to be held (of sb.).
Translating OF tenir a: ~ in (of), to be due to or because of (sb.).
(a) To have (a husband, wife); haven and ~ to wif (at bord and bed), ~ to bord and bed, have (a woman) as wife; (b) to keep (a mistress or concubine); have (sb.) adulterously; (c) to have (sb., a horse) in one's service.
To have (an office or position); occupy (a throne); ~ estat, be of a high rank; ~ principalte, be of great worth.
(a) To possess (a virtue, a vice, an attribute, etc.); have (evidence); ~ ende, come to an end; ~ lif, survive, live; ~ liknesse of, bear a resemblance to (sth.); (b) to harbor (an emotion, attitude), entertain; bear (wrath against sb.); ~ despit (hoker) of, feel contempt or resentment towards (sb. or sth.); ~ litel pris (tale) of, have little regard for (sth.); ~ no deinte (prid, pris, stat, store, tale) of, have no esteem or respect for (sb. or sth.), regard (sth.) as of no account; (c) ~ helde, to hold (one's) allegiance to (sb.); ~ knighthod to, be a soldier under (sb.); (d) to hold (a belief; an opinion); (e) to bear (a name); (f)?to assume (a certain countenance); (g) to have (a certain measure in length, breadth, height, circumference).
(a) To retain possession of (sth.), keep (sth. with one); ppl. holding, greedy; -- also as noun; (b) to keep (sth.) back, withhold; reserve (sth.) for (sb.); ~ fro, withhold (sth.) from (sb.); ~ til, reserve (sth.) for (sb.); (c) to retain (sb.), keep (one's wife, guests), keep (sb. with one); (d) to imprison (sb.), keep in custody; ~ prisoner, ~ in prisoun (areste, hold); hold (sb. as a hostage), confine (sb. to a bed), keep (sb. in hell); ~ in bende (bond, bondes), keep (sb.) in chains; ~ in cage, cage (sb.), confine; (e) fig. to keep (sb.) under one's power of influence; (f) to retain (a quality, color, heat, virtue, sin, one's purpose, etc.); ~ up, keep up (one's courage).
(a) To detain (sb.), prevent (sth.) from passing; keep (sb. or sth. in a place); hold (a medication) in place; refl. stay (in a place, among people); (b) to hold (sth. in the mouth); retain (sth.) in the stomach; hold (one's breath, urine, etc.); (c) ~ of, ~ thenne(s, to keep (sb. or sth.) away; ~ out (outer), exclude (sb.); (d) refl. ~ awei, ~ fro, ~ o fer (on drie, on hove), to stay away, remain at a distance; ~ fro, stay away from (sth., a person, a place); ~ out, stay out (of a place).
To keep (sb. or sth. in a state or condition); refl. remain (in a state or condition): (a) with adj.; ~ lou, to keep (a liquid measure) small; oppress (sb.); (b) with adv.; ~ hote, to pursue (a quarry) closely or vigorously; ~ harde (hote, shorte), press (sb.) hard in battle; (c) with phr.; ~ at bok, to keep (sb.) at his lessons; ~ to mounde, give (sb.) protection; ~ to use, confine (oneself) to the use (of the Bible).
To keep (sb. or sth.) from (an action or abstraction); ~ fro, keep (April) from (raining); ~ fro (out of), deprive (sb.) of (his will, his right).
(a) To restrain (sb., oneself); ~ in, hold (sb.) in check, oppress (sb.); (b) to bring (a wild animal) to bay, check; in ~; (c) ~ eies, to prevent (someone's) eyes from seeing; ~ (up) honde, restrain (one's, someone's) hand, stop an action, stay; ~ hondes, stop, cease; also, refrain from stealing [quot.: PPl.C]; ~ mouth (tonge), hold (one's) tongue, be silent; (d) to restrain (speech, folly, the course of Nature); ~ in; ~ wit, hamper the mind; ~ wordes (langage), be silent; (e) to withstand (sb., blows); ~ aye (ayen, ayenes, toyenes, etc.), oppose (sb.) in battle or dispute, be hostile toward (sb.); resist (a commandment, law), disapprove of (sth.); stand one's ground, fight; (f) to stop, desist; -- in impv.
(a) To constrain (sb. to do sth.); urge (sb. to do sth.); -- also refl.; ben holden, be under an obligation, be obliged or constrained (to do sth.); -- with inf., to or into phr., that clause, or ther-to; (b) ben holden to (til, unto, until), to be obligated to (sb.), be indebted to; be in debt to (sb.); (c) ben holden to, to be subject to (commandments), be bound by (an oath).
(a) To rule (a kingdom, land, city, stronghold, people), govern; command (an army or a division of an army); of God: rule (heaven, earth, etc.); ~ in (on) honde, ~ under fot; (b) to exercise (royal power or authority); (c) to preside over (a court, council, parliament, meeting); ~ halle, hold (a court or assembly); preside over (a court of law); ~ assize, ~ dom, ~ quest; ~ ple, hear a suit, try a case; (d) to give (a feast); hold (a tournament).
(a) To manage or maintain (a household, an inn, a tavern); keep (a shop, a market stall, etc.); teach or conduct (a school); ~ rutte, of a hart: service the hinds in mating season; (b) to control (sb.); also, treat (sb. in a certain manner); ~ under fot, overcome (sb.); ~ harde, treat (sb.) harshly; (c) to manage or control (sth., a horse); use (an instrument); (d) refl. to conduct oneself, behave; (e) ~ in balaunce, ~ in (on) honde, to put (sb.) off, keep (sb.) in suspense.
(a) To guard (sb. or sth.), defend (against sb. or sth.), protect; -- also refl.; guard (sb., oneself, one's heart, etc., against sin or vice); (b) to keep (words, counsel) secret; ~ bihinden, keep (brave deeds) secret; (c) to preserve (sb., life, soul, mind, flesh, etc.); save (a species of animal); ~ up; refl. support oneself, make a living; ~ (up) herte, preserve (one's) courage or strength; ~ maue, preserve the stomach; (d) to preserve (a thing), save, keep; keep (a fire from going out); keep (a house or building) in repair, keep up; (e) to preserve (words, knowledge, love, faith, a language, etc.); keep (sth.) in mind, remember; ~ in minde (mininge, thought), ~ in (on) herte, ~ on iminde (mod); (f) to maintain (a state or condition, an order); maintain (a quota, a prescribed weight, number, or dimension); keep up (prices); keep (a musical note true); preserve (the correct form of sth.); ~ grith (pes), keep peace; ~ mesure (mene, middel), be moderate; (g) ~ pes (silence), to be quiet, remain silent; ~ cours (fot) with, keep pace with (sb. or sth.).
(a) To support (sb., a group), uphold, aid, abet; also, attend upon (sb.); ~ up, ~ in honde; ~ a partie to, support (sb.); (b) to uphold (an institution, justice, righteousness, someone's power, etc.); support or advocate (an idea, opinion, a doctrine, principle, etc.); maintain the validity of (the Scriptures); ~ up, uphold (rules), honor (someone's name); (c) ~ up oil, to react affirmatively, support (someone's) affirmative, play along; (d) to join (a group); ~ craft, join a guild; (e)?to reward (sb.); pay (sth. to sb.).
(a) To keep (a religious festival or holiday), observe; keep (a holiday from desecration), keep sacred; ~ twelvemonthes minde (obit), observe a yearly commemoration of (someone's) death; (b) to solemnize (a marriage), celebrate; conduct (a funeral ceremony or rites).
(a) To obey (a law, decree, command, etc.); follow (God's teaching or commandment); observe (a rule, an order of procedure); keep (a promise, pledge, an agreement, oath); keep one's promises to (sb.); ~ at, carry out (a command); ~ love (wedlok), be faithful in love (marriage); (b) ~ up dai (steven, term), to keep an appointment; (c) to practice (Christianity); follow (a certain way of life); keep (a vow of poverty).
(a) To engage in (an activity), perform (an action, a function), do (sth.); carry on (a conversation, dispute, lawsuit, etc.); make (a treaty, truce); ~ sermoun of, discuss (sth.); ~ no strif, make no objection; (b) ~ bataille (camp, fight, ifight, medle), to do battle; ~ countre ayen, attack (sb.); ~ werre, wage war; (c) to hold (a meeting, council, parliament, banquet, etc.); ben holden, of a council: be held; (d) ~ champartie [see champartie 2].
(a) To proceed (to a place), go; ~ forth (out), go forth; refl. proceed (in a certain path); (b) ~ wei (gate, journe), to proceed on (one's) way, go, travel; ~ wei (gate, strete), follow a path or road; ~ cours (passage), follow (a course, one's course), travel, pass; ~ heigh wei (strete), follow the main road; (c) ~ wei, of counsel: to follow (a course); ~ cours, of Fortune: run (her) course; of laws: proceed duly, be carried out; ~ flight, of a day: pass; ~ pas, follow a course of action; ~ after the neue world, follow the new customs, be a child of the age.
(a) To continue, last; continue to exist, live, survive; remain unchanged; ~ on; (b) to go on doing something, persist, persevere; ~ on, continue an action or practice, keep it up; go on quarreling [quot.: Bibbesw.] or fighting [quot.: Malory]; (c) to continue (pleasure, merriment, sport); proceed with (a tale, poem); (d) ~ on, to continue (to do sth.), persist in (a course of action, a way of life); ~ in (upon), go on (doing sth.).
(a) To remain (in a place); also fig.; ~ on drie, ~ o rom, keep aloof, stay at a distance; ~ from, shun (sb.); (b) to remain in (a place or position); occupy (space); ~ deis, be on the dais, preside over the feast; ~ feld, engage in battle; ~ mansioun (residence), dwell, reside; also fig.; ~ sadel, stay mounted; ~ seintuarie, take sanctuary; ~ sete, stay in one's seat; ~ sojour, sojourn, stay; ~ stale, keep (one's) place; also, engage in battle; holding residence, of canons: residentiary; (c) to occupy (a position in a series); ~ the mene, be of an intermediate size, shape, or condition; ~ stede, take (someone's) place; ~ stede of, be effective regarding (sth.), apply to.
(a) To remain (in a position or a state); ~ bihinden, be badly off; ~ in quik, remain afire; ~ on on, remain the same; ~ stille, hold still; be silent about (sth.); ~ togedere, stick together; ~ up, stand up, bear up, endure; (b) ~ mid (with), to stand by (sb.), side with; ~ o (with), cling to (sth.); ~ on, side with (sb.), cling to (sth.), adhere to, believe in; ~ to (til), be faithful or devoted to (sb.), cling to (sth.); -- also refl.; ~ with hound and hare, take both sides; (c) ~ to (til), to agree to (sth.); -- also refl.; ~ with, agree with (sb.); -- also refl.; (d) ~ togeder(es, to be loyal or faithful to each other; unite, join together.
To wager (a sum of money), bet.
(a) Of an event: to take place; of an action: be performed; of a court: be in session; (b) to avail, be of use; ne halt not, (shrift) avails not; what halt, what does (wrath) avail; what halt it, what use is it (to do sth.); -- with to phrase or ppl.; (c) to be valid; of prophetic words: come true.
(a) To believe (that sth. is true, that sb. will do or be sth., etc.); suppose (sth. to be sth.); suppose (oneself to be speaking truly, etc.); -- with clause or inf. phr.; ~ best the do, judge it best for you to do; holding lest, supposing that, for fear that; as i hit holde, as I suppose; as (hit) is holden, as (it) is supposed; etc.; (b) to regard (sb., sth., an action in a certain manner); ~ to gle, regard (sth.) as delightful; ~ to (in) wrathe, consider (sth.) grounds for anger, take offense at; ~ in reverence, ~ in pris, ~ in contempt, etc.; ben holden bi, be looked upon (as sth.); (c) to impute (honor, etc., to sb.), ascribe.
To regard (sb., sth., an action, or event) as (sth.); regard (sb.) as (a prophet, loathsome, without a peer, etc.); regard (property) as (worthless); look upon (wisdom) as (folly); consider (oneself overcome); regard (an act) as (sin); look upon (temptation) as (bliss); etc.: (a) with noun as objective complement; (b) with adj. or ppl.; (c) with adv.; (d) with phr.
To regard, consider; ~ for (as for, as), regard (sb. or sth.) as (sth.); regard (sb.) as (a father); consider (sb. an enemy); look upon (a woman) as (fallen); regard (oneself) as (dirt, holy, vile, etc.); regard (an opinion) as (the truth); regard (an idea) as (sound); etc.: (a) with noun as obj. compl.; (b) with adj. or ppl.
Phrases: (a) ~ compaignie, to maintain friendly association; keep up friendly or intimate relationship (with sb.); join (sb.) in an action; also, accompany (sb. at dinner); (b) ~ ouen (partie), to maintain (one's) ground in battle; hold (one's) position against opposition in battle or dispute.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1450 PNoster R.Hermit (Westm-S 3)35/16 : Þenk ʒit þat vnneþe is lefte oon, so moche is þe prees þat is holden to þese þat beþ to come.
  • Note: New phrase: holden ~ to, to exert pressure on (sb.).
  • a1475(?1445) ?Lydg.Cal.(Rwl B.408)253 : Souerayn lady! þyne Vtas we done holde.
  • Note: Need date in 18.(a)
  • a1400 Cursor (Trin-C R.3.8)23824 : We owe hit not to holdem were.
  • Note: NF if = ?hold him.
  • a1500 Wars Alex.(Dub 213)2465 : Þe ende of your elders enterly ʒe holden.
  • Note: AQ
  • c1175 Orm.(Jun 1)4675 : Swa forrwerrpesst tu þin Godd & haldesst wiþþ þatt ahhte.
  • Note: Antedates 5.(a)
    Note: Quot. already used under 24.(b)--JL
  • a1425 Mannyng HS (Dlw 24)1622 : To þo men þat to holdam [Hrl: Grete mede he getyþ with-oute fayle Þat wele wyl holde hys spousayle].
  • Note: Add to 19.(a)--per WCH
    Note: NF
    Note: "holdam" is a spelling of "hurdam" (wrong Hrl line used for context. Neither treated in MED, so should remain in supplement, but as something else. ?whoredom.
    Note: Entry here is as filed in supplement. Proper Hrl lines are: Some of þe poyntys wyl y touche Þat men vn-to hurdam souche. Souche glossed as "suspect".