Definition of hold on in English:

hold on

phrasal verb

  • 1[often in imperative] Wait; stop:

    ‘hold on a minute, I'll be right back!’
    • ‘But hold on a minute - are we still talking about children's choices here, or our own?’
    • ‘Now just hold on a minute, judgmental John, have you forgotten that this is not the UK?’
    • ‘When he finished telling her his idea, she asked him to hold on a minute and left the room.’
    • ‘But hold on a minute, he is having an affair with his secretary because he is famous?’
    • ‘It looks safe outside, but they're still telling us that the air is bad, so I'm holding on and waiting for a few days.’
    wait, wait a minute, just a moment, just a second, stay here, stay put, remain here
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  • 2Endure in difficult circumstances:

    ‘if only they could hold on a little longer’
    • ‘Mark Potts was the club's sole representative in the under-15s race, holding on for a respectable 23rd position.’
    • ‘They have been holding on for as long as possible.’
    • ‘Jamie Ewart did lash home a deserved second for Whitehill in the very last minute but the visitors held on.’
    • ‘‘In my circle of friends a few have lost their jobs, but most are holding on tight,’ she said.’
    • ‘It was another of those games where we had to hold on in the dying minutes.’
    • ‘We discussed what makes certain people hold on in extreme circumstances.’
    • ‘In many ways I think we're holding on just to make it to the cabin.’
    • ‘A late try for Merton made for a frantic last five minutes but Streatham held on for victory.’
    • ‘At the finish they were holding on for dear life and with St. Josephs coming at them in waves Bobby Miller must have been relieved to hear the final whistle.’
    • ‘They held on for fifteen minutes before a penalty was awarded close in.’
    keep going, keep on, survive, last, continue, persevere, struggle on, carry on, go on, hang on, hold out, not give up, see it through, stay the course
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