Definition of behold in English:



[WITH OBJECT]archaic, literary
  • See or observe (a thing or person, especially a remarkable or impressive one)

    ‘behold your king!’
    ‘the botanical gardens were a wonder to behold’
    • ‘They hiked part way up the mountain and beheld a spectacular view.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Will's face softened with warmth and affection as he beheld his son for the first time.’
    • ‘That's how massive it was - easily the biggest fish that I and everyone else who beheld it had ever seen.’
    • ‘Chloe beheld a middle-aged man of medium build with a fading brown beard fringing his face.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The very sight of Loch Lomond ennobles the spirit of all who behold it, even if they're messing it up.’
    • ‘His effect on her was, if anything, more powerful than it had been the first time she beheld him.’
    • ‘He beheld the image for a few moments before concentrating his gaze lower.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was there, in those ancient precincts, that I beheld a blinding light descending upon me.’
    • ‘Hardly had I seated myself when my eyes beheld a child staring accusingly at me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She smiled as she beheld her friends and her children, all seated at the round table.’
    • ‘It was a grand sight to behold him in his dressing-gown composing a menu.’
    • ‘I actually still remember the exact table we were sitting at when we first opened it and beheld the wonders inside.’
    • ‘Her eyes were loving and strong as they beheld her husband, her warrior, who was to risk his life in battle once more.’
    • ‘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.’
    look, see, lo
    look at, see, observe, view, watch, survey, gaze at, gaze upon, stare at, scan, witness, regard, contemplate, inspect, eye
    catch sight of, glimpse, spot, spy, notice, make out, discern, perceive
    take note of, pay attention to, mark, remark, consider, pay heed to
    clap eyes on, lay eyes on, set eyes on, have a gander at, take a gander at, have a squint at, get a load of, check out, gawp at, size up
    have a dekko at, take a dekko at, have a butcher's at, take a butcher's at, have a shufti at, take a shufti at, clock
    espy, descry
    View synonyms


  • beauty is in the eye of the beholder

    • Beauty cannot be judged objectively, for what one person finds beautiful or admirable may not appeal to another.

      • ‘I've opened with orchids and pansies but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
      • ‘They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that art has no boundaries.’
      • ‘As for the beautiful color of the giraffe indicating design and not natural selection, I would simply point out that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
      • ‘I do understand their appeal and, after all is said and done, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
      • ‘If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the significance and importance of an exhibition is in the eye of the art critic.’
      • ‘Of course, if asked, these guys might say, as any good American individualist would, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
      • ‘It is an art, certainly, and its beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
      • ‘A lot of people who know nothing about art say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
      • ‘Plus, we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
      • ‘There is an old saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but on a new matchmaking web site that officially launched today, the beholders also hold the keys to the kingdom.’


Old English bihaldan, from bi- thoroughly + haldan to hold.