with·hold / wi[unvoicedth]ˈhōld; wi[voicedth]-/ • v. (past and past part. -held ) [tr.] refuse to give (something that is due to or is desired by another): the name of the dead man is being withheld | [as n.] (withholding) the withholding of consent to treatment. ∎ suppress or hold back (an emotion or reaction). ∎ (of an employer) deduct (tax) from an employee's paycheck and send it directly to the government. DERIVATIVES: with·hold·er n.