- The definition of behold means to see or perceive.
An example of behold is to look at a dazzling star in the sky.
A child beholds a brilliant star.
transitive verbbeheld, beholding
Origin of beholdMiddle English biholden ; from Old English bihealdan, to hold, keep hold of: see be- and amp; hold
verbbe·held , be·hold·ing, be·holds
Origin of beholdMiddle English biholden, from Old English behaldan : be-, be- + healdan, to hold.
(third-person singular simple present beholds, present participle beholding, simple past beheld, past participle beheld or rarely beholden)
- To see, or to look at.
Rarely used in informal speech. The past participle beholden now has a meaning detached from the other forms of the word.
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”).