Definition of hold back in English:

hold back

phrasal verb

  • Hesitate to act or speak:

    ‘he held back, remembering the mistake he had made before’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We're holding back on our enthusiasm until we are told that exchange of contracts has been scheduled firmly.’
    • ‘There was little indication yesterday that producers were holding back but there are still four days to go.’
    • ‘This match began in a frenzy of punches with neither boxer holding back nor defending themselves with great aplomb.’
    • ‘The fear of doing something wrong holds back so many people when learning how to do things.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I've been holding back from commenting on them until I've had a chance to let my impressions settle a little.’
    • ‘However, it holds back from actually making a critical judgment.’
    hesitate, pause, stop oneself, restrain oneself, desist, forbear, discontinue, withhold from doing something, refrain from doing something
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