Definition of hold someone/something back in English:

hold someone/something back

phrasal verb

  • 1Prevent or restrict the progress or development of someone or something.

    ‘my lack of experience held me back a bit’
    • ‘Apparently I am smarter than average, quite bright, but my lack self-confidence and initiative is holding me back.’
    • ‘I know what holds me back: negativity, lack of confidence, anxiousness, and expectations.’
    • ‘It holds me back from progressing as fast as I'd like.’
    • ‘Remember, my sickness had held me back from exploring things that other young people could experience.’
    • ‘It is, I suppose, a lack of confidence about architectural values that holds us back from bold new statements and the imaginative adaptation of old buildings.’
    • ‘We will not allow this experience to hold us back from doing anything.’
    • ‘She wanted to experience life and didn't want to have anything to hold her back.’
    • ‘I've missed my friends and family and although we have made some new friends, the language barrier holds you back.’
    • ‘We have so many ideas on promoting the history of soccer in America but our lack of funds is holding us back.’
    • ‘I didn't want something like lack of money to hold you back.’
    hinder, hamper, inhibit, impede, obstruct, check, curb, block, thwart, baulk, hamstring, restrain, frustrate, retard, delay, prevent from making progress, stand in someone's way
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    1. 1.1hold something back Refuse or be unwilling to make something known.
      ‘you're not holding anything back from me, are you?’
      • ‘Well, one of the reasons I think there is a whiff of scandal here, at least as far as journalists are concerned, is because a lot of this information was held back by the administration.’
      • ‘You know you've developed a good relationship with your students when they tell you about their weekends without holding anything back.’
      • ‘What are you holding back that you're afraid to tell me?’
      • ‘She leaves a suicide note, whose contents are held back until an appropriately melodramatic turning point.’
      • ‘Today, government figures are held back not only by a fear of being rumbled, but a terror that they won't be able to pull it off.’
      withhold, hide, conceal, keep back, keep secret, keep hidden, keep silent about, keep quiet about, hush up, refuse to disclose, suppress
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