What is the meaning of
for English Language Learners (ELL) – those learning to speak English as a Second Language (ESL), or English as an Additional Language (EAL)
hold up something
hold something up
raise something (often part of your body) in the air
1. Hold up your hand until the teacher calls your name.
2. The doctor instructed me to hold my leg up for 20 minutes every day until my next appointment.
3. I held the sign up for the crowd to see.
delay a person or an event
Note: this is often used with get, or be
1. I intended to arrive at 7:00 p.m. but I got held up by traffic.
2. The outdoor concert was held up because of the rain.
3. My sister is always holding me up. She takes a long time to get ready.
to demand something of value from someone in a face-to-face confrontation, while using a weapon
1. Someone tried to hold up the bank.
2. He held up the cab driver and took all his cash.
3. They had a plan to hold up the gas station, but they got caught.
4. There is a gang moving around the city holding up jewellery stores.
prevent something from falling on the ground
1. The towel was held up by a nail in the wall.
2. That hook isn’t strong enough to hold that painting up.
3. Be careful. That mirror isn’t held up by anything. It is just leaning against the wall.
continue to succeed, be healthy, or function well, in a difficult situation
Note: this definition is often used with a progressive form (i.e., holding)
1. Last week was difficult, but I am holding up quite well this week.
2. How are you holding up?
3. My grandmother has not been holding up very well since my grandfather’s death.
4. Sales held up surprisingly well during the pandemic.
5. Your car’s shocks aren’t going to hold up if you continue to drive on bad roads.
wait (very informal)
1. Can you hold up? I will be ready in a minute.
an idea or explanation continues to be strong after being tested
1. That evidence will not hold up in court.
2. His testimony did not hold up under questioning. The court dismissed it.
|present –||HOLD UP|
|present participle –||HOLDING UP|
|past –||HELD UP|
|past participle –||HELD UP|
Note: Some phrasal verbs have many meanings. The definitions may not all be included here.