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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.]
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     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.
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              The loops held one curtain to another. --Ex. xxxvi.
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              Thy right hand shall hold me.         --Ps. cxxxix.
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              They all hold swords, being expert in war. --Cant.
                                                    iii. 8.
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              In vain he seeks, that having can not hold.
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              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.
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     2. To retain in one's keeping; to maintain possession of, or
        authority over; not to give up or relinquish; to keep; to
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              We mean to hold what anciently we claim
              Of deity or empire.                   --Milton.
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     3. To have; to possess; to be in possession of; to occupy; to
        derive title to; as, to hold office.
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              This noble merchant held a noble house. --Chaucer.
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              Of him to hold his seigniory for a yearly tribute.
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              And now the strand, and now the plain, they held.
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     4. To impose restraint upon; to limit in motion or action; to
        bind legally or morally; to confine; to restrain.
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              We can not hold mortality's strong hand. --Shak.
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              Death! what do'st? O, hold thy blow.  --Grashaw.
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              He had not sufficient judgment and self-command to
              hold his tongue.                      --Macaulay.
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     5. To maintain in being or action; to carry on; to prosecute,
        as a course of conduct or an argument; to continue; to
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              Hold not thy peace, and be not still. --Ps. lxxxiii.
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              Seedtime and harvest, heat and hoary frost,
              Shall hold their course.              --Milton.
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     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.
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              I would hold more talk with thee.     --Shak.
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     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.
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              Broken cisterns that can hold no water. --Jer. ii.
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              One sees more devils than vast hell can hold.
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     8. To accept, as an opinion; to be the adherent of, openly or
        privately; to persist in, as a purpose; to maintain; to
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              Stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have
              been taught.                          --2 Thes.
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              But still he held his purpose to depart. --Dryden.
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     9. To consider; to regard; to esteem; to account; to think;
        to judge.
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              I hold him but a fool.                --Shak.
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              I shall never hold that man my friend. --Shak.
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              The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his
              name in vain.                         --Ex. xx. 7.
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     10. To bear, carry, or manage; as he holds himself erect; he
         holds his head high.
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               Let him hold his fingers thus.       --Shak.
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     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.]
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              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.
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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."
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     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
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     2. A body of water, standing or flowing; a lake, river, or
        other collection of water.
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              Remembering he had passed over a small water a poor
              scholar when first coming to the university, he
              kneeled.                              --Fuller.
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     3. Any liquid secretion, humor, or the like, resembling
        water; esp., the urine.
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     4. (Pharm.) A solution in water of a gaseous or readily
        volatile substance; as, ammonia water. --U. S. Pharm.
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     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.
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     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.
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     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]
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     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.
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     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.
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     Note: Other phrases, in which water occurs as the first
           element, will be found in alphabetical order in the
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