Definition of holdfast in English:



  • 1A firm grip.

    1. 1.1 A staple or clamp securing an object to a wall or other surface.
      • ‘Crowns commonly have some length of column still attached, and holdfasts, less commonly recognized than crowns, also have some length of column attached.’
      • ‘Lattice panels, wires, or rough surfaces give tendrils and holdfasts a place to latch onto.’
      • ‘Furthermore, the facts that crowns and holdfasts rarely occur attached but that each is preserved with attached incomplete columns, suggest that crowns were broken from their holdfasts prior to burial.’
      brace, vice, press
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Biology A stalked organ by which an alga or other simple aquatic plant or animal is attached to a substrate.
      • ‘Heavy grazing may damage and weaken the holdfasts which anchor the algae.’
      • ‘The algae were decapitated, clamped with vice grips at their holdfasts, and secured to the bottom of a unidirectional current tank with an ordinary house brick.’
      • ‘At the base of the stalk is the holdfast, which cements the alga to the rock and prevents it from being washed away.’
      • ‘The rostellum ends in a holdfast by which the cell is fixed to the gut wall of its host.’