Definition of behold in US English:

behold

verbbeheld

archaic, literary
  • 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!’
    • ‘Chloe beheld a middle-aged man of medium build with a fading brown beard fringing his face.’
    • ‘The very sight of Loch Lomond ennobles the spirit of all who behold it, even if they're messing it up.’
    • ‘Will's face softened with warmth and affection as he beheld his son for the first time.’
    • ‘I actually still remember the exact table we were sitting at when we first opened it and beheld the wonders inside.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hardly had I seated myself when my eyes beheld a child staring accusingly at me.’
    • ‘He beheld the image for a few moments before concentrating his gaze lower.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They hiked part way up the mountain and beheld a spectacular view.’
    • ‘His effect on her was, if anything, more powerful than it had been the first time she beheld him.’
    • ‘And for the first hour or so, it was all quite beguiling and an impressive spectacle to behold.’
    • ‘Make sure the audience beholds you, not your gown.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was a grand sight to behold him in his dressing-gown composing a menu.’
    • ‘That's how massive it was - easily the biggest fish that I and everyone else who beheld it had ever seen.’
    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/