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Hold water   /hoʊld wˈɔtər/   Listen
Hold water

verb
1.
Resist or withstand wear, criticism, etc..  Synonyms: hold up, stand up.  "This theory won't hold water"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Hold water" Quotes from Famous Books



... great tank at Anhilvada Patan in Gujarat had been built by the Ods (navvies), but Sidhraj desired Jusma Odni, one of their wives, and sought to possess her. But the Ods fled with her and when he pursued her she plunged a dagger into her stomach, cursing Sidhraj and saying that his tank should never hold water. The Raja, returning to Anhilvada, found the tank dry, and asked his minister what should be done that water might remain in the tank. The Pardhan, after consulting the astrologers, said that if a man's ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV of IV - Kumhar-Yemkala • R.V. Russell

... not hold water: it would be difficult to form a mask out of a napkin; the Bastille had a resident surgeon of its own as well as a physician and apothecary; no one could gain access to a prisoner without a written order from a minister, even the Viaticum ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... arguments for the needfulness of war, and there is not one of them that will hold water. Wars exist for the same reason that they formerly existed with individuals, or between cities, or states,—because there was no organization regulating the relations between individuals, cities, and states. Wars exist between nations to-day because there is no organization ...
— The Audacious War • Clarence W. Barron

... hold water; the many and various examples of the practice of whipping at Christmas collected by Mannhardt{19} show that it is not confined either to Innocents' Day or to children. Moreover it is often regarded not as a cruel infliction, but as a service for which return must ...
— Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan • Clement A. Miles

... fill it with water, and still as it shrunk away to fill it again, and keep it full. The bag he had placed at first across two pieces of wood, about a foot from the ground; and under it he ordered some of our skins to be spread that would hold water. In about an hour, and not sooner, the water began to come dropping through the bottom of the bag, and, to our great surprise, was perfectly fresh and sweet, and this continued for several hours; but in the end the water began to be a little brackish. When we told ...
— The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton • Daniel Defoe

... when you don't need to give any. Whenever you think you have a kick comin'—why think again. Then if you still see the kick, make it to the foreman. If that don't work make it to me; but when you make it to me, you want to be mighty sure it will hold water. Above all things I hate a liar, a coward, an' a sneak. Now get busy 'cause life is short an' time ...
— Happy Hawkins • Robert Alexander Wason

... is to be understood as guarding against ambiguity, especially in the middle term; if the middle term, or either of the others, can be understood in two ways, the syllogism will not hold water. ...
— The Making of Arguments • J. H. Gardiner

... offer me a loophole of escape, my dear fellow," he said sententiously, "but that theory will not hold water. At present the Indians in Lima and Cuzco do not know that the mummy has been found. Don Pedro only chanced upon the paper which announced the sale by accident and had no time to communicate with his barbaric friends in South ...
— The Green Mummy • Fergus Hume

... singular pleasure in the elaborate imitations of Van Mieris, Gerard Douw, and other old Dutch wizards, who painted such brass pots that you can see your face in them, and such earthen pots that they will surely hold water; and who spent weeks and months in turning a foot or two of canvas into a perfect microscopic illusion of some homely scene. For my part, I wish Raphael had painted the "Transfiguration" in this style, at the same time preserving his breadth and ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... tub, but one that will scarcely hold water, is shown in Fig. 95. In this the upper lap is left open, the points are bent under, and the sides left to curve naturally. A baby carriage can also be made in this way, but for the carriage the points must extend down and have wheels drawn on them ...
— Little Folks' Handy Book • Lina Beard

... a temptation to derive this word from buf l'eau, but I fear that the theory will not hold water. The "buffaloes" of Alexandria ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 9 • Richard F. Burton

... playroom should be provided with a galvanized tub to hold water for sail boats. What boy does not like to play with water, boats and artificial fish? Do not expect him to be contented with toys or plays that amuse the little girl. The boy prefers splashing in water or making a noise with a hammer. Aquatic toys ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... got to do with it?" snarled Eggleston. "They will pay sometime. As to your honor: That's the cheap sentiment you Southern men are always shouting. Your kind of honor won't hold water here! It was your honor when you tried to hold on to your niggers; and it's your honor when you murder each other ...
— Colonel Carter's Christmas and The Romance of an Old-Fashioned Gentleman • F. Hopkinson Smith

... formed a sort of working theory in the case. He scarcely believed that it would hold water, but it ...
— The Crime of the French Cafe and Other Stories • Nicholas Carter

... had not taken the precaution to bring along some water I went back to them and found they had none. I told them they would not see a drop for the next forty miles, and they unloaded the lightest wagon and drove back with everything they had which would hold water, to ...
— Death Valley in '49 • William Lewis Manly

... and that swiftly and thoroughly. Lie out of it to Colonel Tarleton and the others as you will; Captain John Stuart and the baronet are not here to contradict you, and you are the only witnesses. Knock together some story that will hold water and lose no time ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... "Hold water! Back her!" shouted Little, who had prepared his plan of operations, and intended to pull dead to windward of her, so that she would have to go in stays before she could come up ...
— Down the Rhine - Young America in Germany • Oliver Optic

... to me," said Ketchum. "That section will hold water or nothing will. Give me the names of your witnesses, and we will set the mill a grinding. I suppose," he added, carelessly, "you have no objection to bringing the case before ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... the jug and basin," said she, "as long as they hold water; and as for the look-out—well, as long as I can see my two boys' faces happy, that's the best ...
— Reginald Cruden - A Tale of City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... for the earth floor, and tall pines spread their soft carpets of brown, while giant oaks and sycamores lift their cathedral arches to support the ceilings of green, and dark rock fountains set in banks of moss and fern hold water clear and cold. It was to one of these that Stanford Manning brought his bride for their honeymoon. Stanford himself pitched their tent and made their simple camp, for it was not in his plan that the sweet intimacy of these, the first weeks of their mated ...
— When A Man's A Man • Harold Bell Wright

... pine, of the West Indies has every leaf terminated near the stalk with a hollow bucket, which contains from half a pint to a quart of water. Dampier's Voyage to Campeachy. Dr. Sloane mentions one kind of aloe furnished with leaves, which, like the wild pine and Banana, hold water; and thence afford necessary refreshment to travellers in hot countries. Nepenthes had a bucket for the same purpose at the end of every leaf, ...
— The Botanic Garden. Part II. - Containing The Loves of the Plants. A Poem. - With Philosophical Notes. • Erasmus Darwin

... insects fly but short distances. Marshy land and stagnant pools are their breeding places. If the latter cannot be drained, oil spraying is the alternative and that is work for a professional. Again an old rubbish heap, replete with tin cans and other discards that will hold water, offers more encouragement to mosquitoes than is generally realized. Cart all such rubbish away or bury it; then you can drink your after-dinner coffee in peace on terrace or lawn, or enjoy the coolness of evening dew after a blistering hot day in ...
— If You're Going to Live in the Country • Thomas H. Ormsbee and Richmond Huntley

... by digging the earth deep and rubbing it fine with their hands, and by this means they get an excellent yield.[168] Women have everywhere been the first potters; vessels were needed for use in cooking, to carry and to hold water, and to store the supplies of food. For the same reason baskets were woven. Women invented and exercised in common multifarious household occupations and industries. Curing food, tanning the hides of animals, spinning, weaving, dyeing—all ...
— The Position of Woman in Primitive Society - A Study of the Matriarchy • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... of the most important considerations in the cultivation of flowers. Should the soil be clayey, and hold water, make V-shaped drains, 3 ft. below the surface, and let 2-in. pipes lead to a deep hole made at the lowest part of the garden and filled with brick rubbish, or other porous substances, through which the water may drain; otherwise ...
— Gardening for the Million • Alfred Pink

... same," Jud remarked, "unless we can show some clinching evidence our theory won't hold water with a lot of people who always have to be given solid proof. That brings up the subject, we talked about on the way home—should we pay a visit to that charcoal burners' cabin, and try to make prisoners ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts Snowbound - A Tour on Skates and Iceboats • George A. Warren

... Hiram, "it cost a quarter to git it drawn up. Then I swore to it before old Squire Rundlett over to Montrose, and it ought ter hold water. You'd better keep it, Mandy, then I can't fling it up at yer that I never ...
— Quincy Adams Sawyer and Mason's Corner Folks - A Picture of New England Home Life • Charles Felton Pidgin

... comfort died out of it. It was clear that in the first instance his companion had taken a gloomy view of his case, that he looked upon Richard's own story with utter disbelief, and was convinced it would not hold water before a jury. His remark about the money having been recovered must have had reference to a possible mitigation of the sentence, and therefore took conviction for granted. Nor, upon reconsideration of the ...
— Bred in the Bone • James Payn

... whole presenting to the eye the appearance of a vast chess-board. The argillaceous earth at the bottom of the pans was made hard to prevent the escape of the water by percolation. This was done in the larger ones by leading horses over the surface, until, says an old chronicler, the basins "would hold water as if they were brass." The water was introduced from the sea, through sluices and sieves of pierced planks, passing over broad surfaces in shallow currents, furnishing an opportunity for evaporation from the moment it left the ocean until it found its way into the numerous salt-basins ...
— Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, Vol. 1 • Samuel de Champlain

... is cultivated carefully and intensively, it will hold water within itself and carry a storage reservoir underneath the growing crop. Finely pulverizing and packing the seed bed, makes it retain the greatest possible percentage of the moisture that falls, just as a tumbler full of fine sponge or of birdshot will retain many times the amount of water ...
— Three Acres and Liberty • Bolton Hall

... resemblance and pursued it and began pictorial art, moulded the soft, warm clay of the river brink between his fingers, and found a pleasure in its patternings and repetitions, shaped it into the form of vessels, and found that it would hold water. He watched the streaming river, and wondered from what bountiful breast this incessant water came; he blinked at the sun and dreamt that perhaps he might snare it and spear it as it went down to its resting-place ...
— The World Set Free • Herbert George Wells

... in cooking, both to carry and hold water, and to store the surplus of food, both vegetable and animal, and the woman, feeling the need of these in connection with what she has set about doing, weaves baskets and makes pottery. Fetching wood, grinding corn, tanning the ...
— Sex and Society • William I. Thomas

... subject who thinks himself aggrieved, may come and tell his story to the King's own self: ["January, 1744" (Rodenbeck, i. 98).]—better have his story in firm succinct state, I should imagine, and such that it will hold water, in telling it to the King! But the King is ready to hear him; heartily eager to get justice done him. A suitable boon, such Permission, till Law-Reform take effect. And after Law-Reform had finished, it was a thing found suitable; and continued to the end,—curious to ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIV. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... had thought this explanation over he would have seen that it would not hold water for a minute, but he was excited by the events of the day and in ...
— The Boy Aviators' Treasure Quest • Captain Wilbur Lawton

... forward by the sovereign and his apologists in justification of this step appears to me to hold water. The necessity pleaded for an interview with the Duke of Poland, the Czar's desire to hasten on Repnin's march, are mere pitiful excuses. Langen and Hallart, the generals sent by Augustus to observe the military operations in Livonia, gravely reported that the Czar had been ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 12 • Editor-In-Chief Rossiter Johnson

... of its male philosophers: it can, without injury to itself, well afford to dispense with female. Neither does the objection that the female sex has never yet produced a genius seem to us either to hold water, or to have the weight of a demonstration. Geniuses do not drop down from the skies; they must have opportunity to form and mature. This opportunity woman has lacked until now, as amply shown by our short historic sketch. For thousands of years she has been oppressed, and she has been deprived ...
— Woman under socialism • August Bebel

... who expects it to hold water again? Is it not rather placed upon the shelf and forgotten—if, indeed, it be not flung upon ...
— Nicanor - Teller of Tales - A Story of Roman Britain • C. Bryson Taylor

... my wife a lady, upon my word, at the time, I almost think I was just then quite in earnest. The idea flitted across my mind vaguely—"Why not send her for a year or two to be polished up at Paris or somewhere, and really marry her afterwards for good and always?" But on second thoughts, it won't hold water. She's magnificent, she's undeniable, she's admirable, but she isn't possible. The name alone's enough to condemn her. Fancy marrying somebody with a Christian name out of the hundred and somethingth psalm! It's too atrocious! I really couldn't ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... the valves or, when they heal, leave scars which shorten and twist the valves out of shape, so that they can no longer close the openings. When this has happened, the heart is in the condition of a pump which will not hold water, because the leather valve in its bucket is broken or warped; and we say that the patient has valvular or organic ...
— A Handbook of Health • Woods Hutchinson

... manlier course, no doubt," the other answered; "but I could not bring myself to that. I could not face the idea of your justifiable wrath. I wanted to win my wife and keep my friend. It was altogether a weak notion, that idea of secrecy, of course, and couldn't hold water for any time, as the result has shown; but I thought you would get over your disappointment quickly—those wounds are apt to heal so speedily—and fall in love elsewhere; and then it would have been easy ...
— Fenton's Quest • M. E. Braddon

... hot run, sir," returned the captain. "Jack ashore, you know. It's not them I mind; it's the round-shot. Carpet bowls! My lady's maid couldn't miss. Tell us, squire, when you see the match, and we'll hold water." ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 6 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... of this well do I know I cannot forbear to read, and so Teares my drink and all my content gone. But let me remember there was here and there a word where he hath writ tenderly of his poor Wife, and when I did see him weep my heart did pity him. But what hope or help, for a Jar mended may hold water, but yet the Cracks remain, and the worth gone for ever ...
— The Ladies - A Shining Constellation of Wit and Beauty • E. Barrington

... TO WATER 39 Importance of water to plants 39 Sources of soil water 40 Attitude of soils toward water: Percolation Absorption from below Power to hold water 40 The effect of working soils when ...
— The First Book of Farming • Charles L. Goodrich

... theorists, the fine spun cobwebs of the doctrinaires, governmental ideals of brotherhood that were mostly sawdust and governmental practices that were mostly theft under privilege—all went down in the smash of the next twenty years' tempest. All that was left was what was real; what would hold water and work out ...
— The Canadian Commonwealth • Agnes C. Laut

... it is St. Agnes' Eve— Yet men will murder upon holy days: Thou must hold water in a witch's sieve, 120 And be liege-lord of all the Elves and Fays, To venture so: it fills me with amaze To see thee, Porphyro!—St. Agnes' Eve! God's help! my lady fair the conjuror plays This very night: good angels her deceive! But let me laugh ...
— Keats: Poems Published in 1820 • John Keats

... facts, given a receipt or contract showing the total fee to be paid; will make a record of the beginning of the residence period and will talk to the client generally about his or her cause of action, and the steps necessary to be taken toward establishing a bona fide residence that will hold water against all attack. Many persons have failed in contested cases, because of statements they have placed in letters to friends and relatives. These statements often show that the plaintiff is only serving time in Nevada, ...
— Reno - A Book of Short Stories and Information • Lilyan Stratton

... wedlock, a sacrament, but many forms. Never before did I marry two lovers with the Sword and the Bible—the form of matrimony for fugitive slaves: out of that fact perhaps Mr. Attorney can frame an indictment that will hold water. "If it only resists law and obstructs its officers," quoth he, "it is treason, and he who risks it must ...
— The Trial of Theodore Parker • Theodore Parker

... "Form a line tew th' spring an' pass buckets of water from it tew th' house. Here, you," he cried, as his eyes caught sight of Thure and Bud, "back tew th' house an' git everything in it that'll hold water—pails, gold-pans, ...
— The Cave of Gold - A Tale of California in '49 • Everett McNeil

... between them. Among the furniture are dishes of wood, bark, or horn; and vessels in which they cook their food, narrow at the top, and wide at the bottom. The latter are formed of roots of the spruce fir-tree, so closely interwoven as to hold water. This people have also small leather bags, to hold their embroidered work, their lines, and fishing-nets. They twist the fibres of willow-bark, and the sinews of rein-deer, into fishing-lines; and they make fishing-hooks of horn, wood, or bone. Their weapons for hunting ...
— Travels in North America, From Modern Writers • William Bingley

... for the whole is to be in bronze with gilt trappings. He is to stand upon an elevated pedestal, which is already completed. The height will be about 60 feet, nearly as high as Alderley Steeple. The castle will hold water; the inside is to be a room, and the staircase is to be in one of the legs. The porter who showed it was exceedingly proud of the performance, and when I expressed my astonishment at Buonaparte's numerous ...
— Before and after Waterloo - Letters from Edward Stanley, sometime Bishop of Norwich (1802;1814;1814) • Edward Stanley

... all the way to the Buckeye. Word came in just before lunch. They're in trouble at the dam. There must have been a fault in the under-strata, and too-heavy dynamiting has opened it. In short, what's the good of a good dam when the bottom of the reservoir won't hold water?" ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... the leadership of Senator Newlands, of Nevada, the Reclamation Act of 1902 was passed, providing for the redemption of the desert areas of the West. The proceeds from the sale of public lands were dedicated to the construction of storage dams and sluiceways to hold water and divert it as needed to the thirsty sands. Furthermore it was stipulated that the rents paid by water users should go into a reclamation fund to continue the good work forever. Construction was started immediately under ...
— History of the United States • Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard

... were all bad men. You have no likes of them gangs out heah. If they didn't get wiped out by Rangers or cowboys, why they jest naturally wiped out themselves. Thet's a law I recognize in relation to gangs like them. An' as for yours—why, Anson, it wouldn't hold water against one real gun-slinger." ...
— The Man of the Forest • Zane Grey

... hold water," he said, presently. "Why, there's an enormous cliff-dwelling just across here. I got the pottery there. Don't you think we needed something? That tin cup of mine has served to make tea, ...
— Riders of the Purple Sage • Zane Grey

... particles stick together to form the large flocks, and these can no longer float, but sink. If we look at the limed clay in our funnel experiment we shall see that the same change has gone on there; the clay has become rather loose and fluffy, and can therefore no longer hold water back. ...
— Lessons on Soil • E. J. Russell

... harbor of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, for shelter, was denied permission to go and see his relatives near by or to receive them aboard his vessel. The water-tank of the schooner Mollie Adams having burst, her captain sought to buy two or three barrels to hold water for his crew on their homeward voyage of five hundred miles. His ...
— History of the United States, Volume 4 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... runlet or two, as I observed before, but I could never arrive to the capacity of making one by them, though I spent many weeks about it; I could neither put in the heads, or joint the staves so true to one another as to make them hold water: so ...
— The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) • Daniel Defoe

... ornamental part of our labours we turned to the useful. We divided the ground, we manured it, and sowed it with abundance of beans, peas, and every vegetable that grows in the island." In the course of their labours they found that a tank would be of great use to hold water, which might be brought by pipes from a spring at a distance of ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... tree, because its roots are wide-spreading, like its branches. The earth should be thrown out to the depth of twenty inches, and four or five feet square, for an ordinary-sized tree. This, however, will not do on a heavy clay subsoil, for it would form a basin to hold water and injure the tree. A ditch, as low as the bottom of the holes, should extend from tree to tree, and running out of the orchard, constructed in the usual method of drains, and, whatever be the subsoil, the trees ...
— Soil Culture • J. H. Walden

... blew A gale, and in the fore and after hold Water appear'd; yet, though the people knew All this, the most were patient, and some bold, Until the chains and leathers were worn through Of all our pumps:—a wreck complete she roll'd, At mercy of the waves, whose mercies are Like ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... to lay on your oars!" said Mr. Boulong with energy, when the first cutter was within a boat's length of the individual. "Hold water! Stand by to haul him in, Knott!" he added to the ...
— Across India - Or, Live Boys in the Far East • Oliver Optic

... club I pounded on the floor as I walked around the gymnasium, while the lodge, headed by my chum, sung, 'We won't go home till morning' I stopped in front of the ice water tank, and said, 'Grand Worthy Duke, I bring before you a pilgrim who has drank of the dregs until his stomach won't hold water, and who desires to swear off.' The Grand Mogul asked me if he was worthy and well qualified, and I told him that he had been drunk more or less since the reunion last summer, which ought to qualify him. Then the Grand Mogul made Pa repeat ...
— Peck's Compendium of Fun • George W. Peck

... income at the command of the man she loved so that he should not feel disgraced by receiving it from her hand? She conceived some plan as to a loan to be made nominally by her brother,—a plan as to which it may at once be said that it could not be made to hold water for a minute. But she did succeed in inducing her brother to undertake the embassy, with the view of explaining to Phineas that there would be money for him when he wanted it. "If I make it over to Papa, Papa can leave it him in ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... of willow and grass, so closely wrought as to hold water, and a seine neatly made with meshes, in the ordinary manner, of the fibres of wild flax or nettle. The humble effects of the poor savages remained unmolested by their visitors, and a few small articles, with a knife or two, were left in the camp, and were no doubt regarded ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... we hold Water: even so doth gold, Like a fire that flameth through the night, Shine mid lordly wealth most ...
— Works, V3 • Lucian of Samosata

... strange tale, Poole; this is rather a wild tale, my man," said Mr. Utterson, biting his finger. "Suppose it were as you suppose, supposing Dr. Jekyll to have been—well, murdered, what could induce the murderer to stay? That won't hold water; it ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 5 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson



Words linked to "Hold water" :   hold out, endure, live, last, stand up, go, hold up, live on, survive



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