hold back

This page is about the phrasal verb hold back.

Meaning: to stop someone or something from going forward, or from progressing in some way

Synonym: keep back, restrain (formal)

For example:

  • hold sb/sth back Joey was so angry that he wanted to attack the referee, but luckily his teammates held him back.

  • hold back sb/sth Tiger thinks his lack of arm strength is holding back his development as a golfer, so he's building up his arm muscles.

Quick Quiz:

Lisa wants to be a successful businesswoman, and she thinks her English is holding her back because

a. her English is poor

b. her English is excellent

c. her English is improving

Phrasal verbs grammar

1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context ebook

Phrasal Verb of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey