The DICT Development Group
2 definitions found
for To hold water
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Hold \Hold\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Held; p. pr. & vb. n.
Holding. Holden, p. p., is obs. in elegant writing,
though still used in legal language.] [OE. haldan, D. houden,
OHG. hoten, Icel. halda, Dan. holde, Sw. h[*a]lla, Goth.
haldan to feed, tend (the cattle); of unknown origin. Gf.
Avast, Halt, Hod.]
1. To cause to remain in a given situation, position, or
relation, within certain limits, or the like; to prevent
from falling or escaping; to sustain; to restrain; to keep
in the grasp; to retain.
The loops held one curtain to another. --Ex. xxxvi.
Thy right hand shall hold me. --Ps. cxxxix.
They all hold swords, being expert in war. --Cant.
In vain he seeks, that having can not hold.
France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue, . .
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.
2. To retain in one's keeping; to maintain possession of, or
authority over; not to give up or relinquish; to keep; to
We mean to hold what anciently we claim
Of deity or empire. --Milton.
3. To have; to possess; to be in possession of; to occupy; to
derive title to; as, to hold office.
This noble merchant held a noble house. --Chaucer.
Of him to hold his seigniory for a yearly tribute.
And now the strand, and now the plain, they held.
4. To impose restraint upon; to limit in motion or action; to
bind legally or morally; to confine; to restrain.
We can not hold mortality's strong hand. --Shak.
Death! what do'st? O, hold thy blow. --Grashaw.
He had not sufficient judgment and self-command to
hold his tongue. --Macaulay.
5. To maintain in being or action; to carry on; to prosecute,
as a course of conduct or an argument; to continue; to
Hold not thy peace, and be not still. --Ps. lxxxiii.
Seedtime and harvest, heat and hoary frost,
Shall hold their course. --Milton.
6. To prosecute, have, take, or join in, as something which
is the result of united action; as to, hold a meeting, a
festival, a session, etc.; hence, to direct and bring
about officially; to conduct or preside at; as, the
general held a council of war; a judge holds a court; a
clergyman holds a service.
I would hold more talk with thee. --Shak.
7. To receive and retain; to contain as a vessel; as, this
pail holds milk; hence, to be able to receive and retain;
to have capacity or containing power for.
Broken cisterns that can hold no water. --Jer. ii.
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold.
8. To accept, as an opinion; to be the adherent of, openly or
privately; to persist in, as a purpose; to maintain; to
Stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have
been taught. --2 Thes.
But still he held his purpose to depart. --Dryden.
9. To consider; to regard; to esteem; to account; to think;
I hold him but a fool. --Shak.
I shall never hold that man my friend. --Shak.
The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his
name in vain. --Ex. xx. 7.
10. To bear, carry, or manage; as he holds himself erect; he
holds his head high.
Let him hold his fingers thus. --Shak.
To hold a wager, to lay or hazard a wager. --Swift.
To hold forth,
(a) v. t.to offer; to exhibit; to propose; to put
forward. "The propositions which books hold forth and
pretend to teach." --Locke.
(b) v. i. To talk at length; to harangue.
To held in, to restrain; to curd.
To hold in hand, to toy with; to keep in expectation; to
have in one's power. [Obs.]
O, fie! to receive favors, return falsehoods,
And hold a lady in hand. --Beaw. & Fl.
To hold in play, to keep under control; to dally with.
To hold off, to keep at a distance.
To hold on, to hold in being, continuance or position; as,
to hold a rider on.
To hold one's day, to keep one's appointment. [Obs.]
To hold one's own. To keep good one's present condition
absolutely or relatively; not to fall off, or to lose
ground; as, a ship holds her own when she does not lose
ground in a race or chase; a man holds his own when he
does not lose strength or weight.
To hold one's peace, to keep silence.
To hold out.
(a) To extend; to offer. "Fortune holds out these to you
as rewards." --B. Jonson.
(b) To continue to do or to suffer; to endure. "He can
not long hold out these pangs." --Shak.
To hold up.
(a) To raise; to lift; as, hold up your head.
(b) To support; to sustain. "He holds himself up in
virtue."--Sir P. Sidney.
(c) To exhibit; to display; as, he was held up as an
(d) To rein in; to check; to halt; as, hold up your
(e) to rob, usually at gunpoint; -- often with the demand
to "hold up" the hands.
(f) To delay.
To hold water.
(a) Literally, to retain water without leaking; hence
(Fig.), to be whole, sound, consistent, without gaps
or holes; -- commonly used in a negative sense; as,
his statements will not hold water. [Colloq.]
(b) (Naut.) To hold the oars steady in the water, thus
checking the headway of a boat.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Water \Wa"ter\ (w[add]"t[~e]r), n. [AS. w[ae]ter; akin to OS.
watar, OFries. wetir, weter, LG. & D. water, G. wasser, OHG.
wazzar, Icel. vatn, Sw. vatten, Dan. vand, Goth. wat[=o], O.
Slav. & Russ. voda, Gr. 'y`dwr, Skr. udan water, ud to wet,
and perhaps to L. unda wave. [root]137. Cf. Dropsy,
Hydra, Otter, Wet, Whisky.]
1. The fluid which descends from the clouds in rain, and
which forms rivers, lakes, seas, etc. "We will drink
water." --Shak. "Powers of fire, air, water, and earth."
Note: Pure water consists of hydrogen and oxygen, H2O, and
is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, transparent
liquid, which is very slightly compressible. At its
maximum density, 39[deg] Fahr. or 4[deg] C., it is the
standard for specific gravities, one cubic centimeter
weighing one gram. It freezes at 32[deg] Fahr. or
0[deg] C. and boils at 212[deg] Fahr. or 100[deg] C.
(see Ice, Steam). It is the most important natural
solvent, and is frequently impregnated with foreign
matter which is mostly removed by distillation; hence,
rain water is nearly pure. It is an important
ingredient in the tissue of animals and plants, the
human body containing about two thirds its weight of
2. A body of water, standing or flowing; a lake, river, or
other collection of water.
Remembering he had passed over a small water a poor
scholar when first coming to the university, he
3. Any liquid secretion, humor, or the like, resembling
water; esp., the urine.
4. (Pharm.) A solution in water of a gaseous or readily
volatile substance; as, ammonia water. --U. S. Pharm.
5. The limpidity and luster of a precious stone, especially a
diamond; as, a diamond of the first water, that is,
perfectly pure and transparent. Hence, of the first water,
that is, of the first excellence.
6. A wavy, lustrous pattern or decoration such as is imparted
to linen, silk, metals, etc. See Water, v. t., 3,
Damask, v. t., and Damaskeen.
7. An addition to the shares representing the capital of a
stock company so that the aggregate par value of the
shares is increased while their value for investment is
diminished, or "diluted." [Brokers' Cant]
Note: Water is often used adjectively and in the formation of
many self-explaining compounds; as, water drainage;
water gauge, or water-gauge; waterfowl, water-fowl, or
water fowl; water-beaten; water-borne, water-circled,
water-girdled, water-rocked, etc.
Hard water. See under Hard.
Inch of water, a unit of measure of quantity of water,
being the quantity which will flow through an orifice one
inch square, or a circular orifice one inch in diameter,
in a vertical surface, under a stated constant head; also
called miner's inch, and water inch. The shape of the
orifice and the head vary in different localities. In the
Western United States, for hydraulic mining, the standard
aperture is square and the head from 4 to 9 inches above
its center. In Europe, for experimental hydraulics, the
orifice is usually round and the head from 1/2 of an inch
to 1 inch above its top.
Mineral water, waters which are so impregnated with foreign
ingredients, such as gaseous, sulphureous, and saline
substances, as to give them medicinal properties, or a
particular flavor or temperature.
Soft water, water not impregnated with lime or mineral
To hold water. See under Hold, v. t.
To keep one's head above water, to keep afloat; fig., to
avoid failure or sinking in the struggles of life.
To make water.
(a) To pass urine. --Swift.
(b) (Naut.) To admit water; to leak.
Water of crystallization (Chem.), the water combined with
many salts in their crystalline form. This water is
loosely, but, nevertheless, chemically, combined, for it
is held in fixed and definite amount for each substance
containing it. Thus, while pure copper sulphate, CuSO4,
is a white amorphous substance, blue vitriol, the
crystallized form, CuSO4.5H2O, contains five molecules
of water of crystallization.
Water on the brain (Med.), hydrocephalus.
Water on the chest (Med.), hydrothorax.
Note: Other phrases, in which water occurs as the first
element, will be found in alphabetical order in the
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