Definition of behold in US English:

behold

verb

literary, archaic
  • with object, often in imperative See or observe (a thing or person, especially a remarkable or impressive one)

    ‘the botanical gardens were a wonder to behold’
    ‘behold your king!’
    • ‘They hiked part way up the mountain and beheld a spectacular view.’
    • ‘Will's face softened with warmth and affection as he beheld his son for the first time.’
    • ‘Hardly had I seated myself when my eyes beheld a child staring accusingly at me.’
    • ‘His effect on her was, if anything, more powerful than it had been the first time she beheld him.’
    • ‘In the frosty air they beheld smoke arising from a spot in the centre of the bog at Ratheskin, and towards it they proceeded with caution.’
    • ‘Her eyes were loving and strong as they beheld her husband, her warrior, who was to risk his life in battle once more.’
    • ‘Make sure the audience beholds you, not your gown.’
    • ‘And for the first hour or so, it was all quite beguiling and an impressive spectacle to behold.’
    • ‘I actually still remember the exact table we were sitting at when we first opened it and beheld the wonders inside.’
    • ‘It was a grand sight to behold him in his dressing-gown composing a menu.’
    • ‘Chloe beheld a middle-aged man of medium build with a fading brown beard fringing his face.’
    • ‘As such the film evokes the pleasure of beholding an actor perform a part with nothing forced in it, one that Michael Caine dons like a favorite suit.’
    • ‘It was there, in those ancient precincts, that I beheld a blinding light descending upon me.’
    • ‘She smiled as she beheld her friends and her children, all seated at the round table.’
    • ‘At dawn this morning, I looked out the window into the snowy mist and there with my very own eyes beheld the culprit at last.’
    • ‘He beheld the image for a few moments before concentrating his gaze lower.’
    • ‘Behold how most fair is Mary to the one who beholds her, and how loveable these things of hers to the ones who are capable of discerning.’
    • ‘That's how massive it was - easily the biggest fish that I and everyone else who beheld it had ever seen.’
    • ‘The very sight of Loch Lomond ennobles the spirit of all who behold it, even if they're messing it up.’
    • ‘We were laughing with each other a little when we entered, but then our eyes looked up and we saw what beheld us in the living room.’
    look at, see, observe, view, watch, survey, gaze at, gaze upon, stare at, scan, witness, regard, contemplate, inspect, eye
    look, see, lo
    View synonyms

Origin

Old English bihaldan, from bi- ‘thoroughly’ + haldan ‘to hold’. Parallel Germanic words have the sense ‘maintain, retain’; the notion of ‘looking’ is found only in English.

Pronunciation

behold

/bəˈhoʊld//bəˈhōld/