hana
What does "hold up" mean? I came across this sentence today. "How does this theory hold up?" What does this "hold up" mean? I had thought that it is used when threatening someone with a gun, but this sentence seems to be different. I saw it in the explanation of this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in0WUAF1JlM
Aug 10, 2014 1:29 AM
Answers · 8
In your example, hana, "hold up" means to remain strong. It can be used about a thing, like the theory in you example or about people. "How does the theory hold up?" means is the theory still good after you think about it, or after you compare it to other research etc. A theory might sound good but after some research you find it doesn't hold up (doesn't work.) We can use it to talk about how humans are coping with difficult situations. "How is John holding up after his wife died?" "He's holding up as well as can be expected." "Hold up" is one of those phrasal verbs that has multiple meanings. It can also mean a delay.
August 10, 2014
You're right: a "hold up" (noun) is a threat toward somebody at gunpoint, almost always for the purpose of stealing their money. However, this is being used as a verb. What they're trying to say is: Does this theory remain valid? Or... How well does this theory hold true? For example... A car that "holds up" lasts for a long time and doesn't require frequent repair. A house that "holds up" endures natural disasters without much damage. A body that "holds up" is aged but doesn't get sick and is relatively free of disease. As you may have noticed, when using "hold up", you first require a previous test. A trial. An evaluation. If nothing happened, you don't ask did it "hold up". It doesn't make sense. However, let's suppose that your tire popped on your car and you had to drive 10 miles before reaching a car shop. You call a friend. You tell them the situation. A question they may ask you would be, "how did your tire hold up?" So... When we say, how does the theory "hold up", what we really mean to say is, "when we examine/explore/entertain/ridicule/test the theory, how true/good/valid is it?" Hopefully that helps. I would roughly translate this sentence: ¿Qué tan cierto resulta este teoría? Or ¿Cómo aguanta esta teoría?
August 10, 2014
Or it can mean to endure, or survive.
August 10, 2014
"Hold up" can either be slang for something like "Stop, what did you say", or it can mean to hijack a vehicle (Examples: A train, plain, car, bus etc.), or rob a store, bussiness etc.
August 10, 2014
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