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.]
   [1913 Webster]
   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.
      [1913 Webster]

            The loops held one curtain to another. --Ex. xxxvi.
      [1913 Webster]

            Thy right hand shall hold me.         --Ps. cxxxix.
      [1913 Webster]

            They all hold swords, being expert in war. --Cant.
                                                  iii. 8.
      [1913 Webster]

            In vain he seeks, that having can not hold.
      [1913 Webster]

            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.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. To retain in one's keeping; to maintain possession of, or
      authority over; not to give up or relinquish; to keep; to
      [1913 Webster]

            We mean to hold what anciently we claim
            Of deity or empire.                   --Milton.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. To have; to possess; to be in possession of; to occupy; to
      derive title to; as, to hold office.
      [1913 Webster]

            This noble merchant held a noble house. --Chaucer.
      [1913 Webster]

            Of him to hold his seigniory for a yearly tribute.
      [1913 Webster]

            And now the strand, and now the plain, they held.
      [1913 Webster]

   4. To impose restraint upon; to limit in motion or action; to
      bind legally or morally; to confine; to restrain.
      [1913 Webster]

            We can not hold mortality's strong hand. --Shak.
      [1913 Webster]

            Death! what do'st? O, hold thy blow.  --Grashaw.
      [1913 Webster]

            He had not sufficient judgment and self-command to
            hold his tongue.                      --Macaulay.
      [1913 Webster]

   5. To maintain in being or action; to carry on; to prosecute,
      as a course of conduct or an argument; to continue; to
      [1913 Webster]

            Hold not thy peace, and be not still. --Ps. lxxxiii.
      [1913 Webster]

            Seedtime and harvest, heat and hoary frost,
            Shall hold their course.              --Milton.
      [1913 Webster]

   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.
      [1913 Webster]

            I would hold more talk with thee.     --Shak.
      [1913 Webster]

   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.
      [1913 Webster]

            Broken cisterns that can hold no water. --Jer. ii.
      [1913 Webster]

            One sees more devils than vast hell can hold.
      [1913 Webster]

   8. To accept, as an opinion; to be the adherent of, openly or
      privately; to persist in, as a purpose; to maintain; to
      [1913 Webster]

            Stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have
            been taught.                          --2 Thes.
      [1913 Webster]

            But still he held his purpose to depart. --Dryden.
      [1913 Webster]

   9. To consider; to regard; to esteem; to account; to think;
      to judge.
      [1913 Webster]

            I hold him but a fool.                --Shak.
      [1913 Webster]

            I shall never hold that man my friend. --Shak.
      [1913 Webster]

            The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his
            name in vain.                         --Ex. xx. 7.
      [1913 Webster]

   10. To bear, carry, or manage; as he holds himself erect; he
       holds his head high.
       [1913 Webster]

             Let him hold his fingers thus.       --Shak.
       [1913 Webster]

   To hold a wager, to lay or hazard a wager. --Swift.

   To hold forth,
       (a) v. 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.]
      [1913 Webster]

            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.
           [1913 Webster]

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."
      [1913 Webster]

   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
         [1913 Webster]

   2. A body of water, standing or flowing; a lake, river, or
      other collection of water.
      [1913 Webster]

            Remembering he had passed over a small water a poor
            scholar when first coming to the university, he
            kneeled.                              --Fuller.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. Any liquid secretion, humor, or the like, resembling
      water; esp., the urine.
      [1913 Webster]

   4. (Pharm.) A solution in water of a gaseous or readily
      volatile substance; as, ammonia water. --U. S. Pharm.
      [1913 Webster]

   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.
      [1913 Webster]

   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.
      [1913 Webster]

   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]
      [1913 Webster]

   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.
         [1913 Webster]

   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.
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: Other phrases, in which water occurs as the first
         element, will be found in alphabetical order in the
         [1913 Webster]
Feedback Form