From Middle English beholden, from Old English behealdan (“to hold, have, occupy, possess, guard, preserve, contain, belong, keep, observe, consider, behold, look at, gaze on, see, signify, avail, effect, take care, beware, be cautious, restrain, act, behave”), from Proto-Germanic *bihaldaną (“to hold with, keep”), equivalent to be- + hold. Cognate with Dutch behouden (“to keep, restrain, preserve”), German behalten (“to keep, restrain, remember”), Danish and Norwegian beholde (“to keep”) and Swedish behålla (“to keep”).
Rarely used in informal speech. The past participle beholden now has a meaning detached from the other forms of the word.
- behold in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- behold in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
From Middle Low German beholt, behalt.
- (archaic) haven, refuge
- i behold
- i god behold
See beholde (“to keep”)
- imperative of beholde