to hold your tongue

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - hold your tongue

"to hold your tongue"

to refrain from speaking


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - hold your tongue

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: I think we should let the intern join us for this meeting. It will be most educational.

Colleague 2: I agree that the intern could learn a lot but we have to caution him to, at all times, hold his tongue.

Colleague 1: I agree. Not having the big picture, the intern could say something that would make us all look bad.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - hold your tongue

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Are you and your wife fighting again?

Friend 2: Yes. And, really, it is over nothing important. She comes home after a long difficult day and I know she is stressed out and then she says something to provoke a quarrel and I respond stupidly and a fight begins.

Friend 1: Sounds like you need to learn to hold your tongue and just let your wife express herself without you reacting.

Friend 2: I agree. I just need to keep my mouth shut and let it pass.

Test Your Understanding  

to hold your tongue - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   536   click for frequency by country

to hold your tongue - Gerund Form:

Holding his tongue, he chose not to contradict the boss in front of the other staff.

to hold your tongue - Examples:

1)  ... better person, no matter the circumstances. Walk away, hold your tongue, be the solution, not even remotely part of the problem.

2)  If you don't know, hold your tongue and ill-fated opinions. 

3)  Hold your tongue -- that kind of talk can hurt me professionally, since we owe this clinic ...

4)  Queuing for what can seem an eternity? Patience. Hold your tongue, stop sighing, rolling your eyes, shuffling from foot to foot. 

5)  If you can hold your tongue and control your actions when you are insulted, your Taekwondo training is helping.

6)  Will you hold your tongue, sir, and let me speak?

7)  Hold your tongue, obey orders... and don't take any of it too seriously.

8)  ... give your child a verbal lashing when she engages in undesirable antics, hold your tongue. In fact, shouting may only produce more negative behaviour.

9)  ... it might be best to hold your tongue -- and to start gathering information. 

10)  ... state, changing your behaviour, and getting a different outcome. Hold your tongue; Rather than just blurting out what you feel.

11)  ... their recollection of the events can be impaired. It is wise to hold your tongue until you have had time to gather your thoughts.

12)  You cared about them at some stage, so hold your tongue when you're tempted to lash out to all and sundry.

13)  If you hold your tongue, you keep silent even though you want to speak.

14)  Make sure, you hold your tongue however the frustration maybe. 

15)  Now the real issue is how do you hold your tongue when everything inside you wants to get mad and take it out on him.

16)  My advice to you young fella is to hold your tongue, obviously you know nothing about our culture otherwise you would show more respect.

17)  So if you want to keep your account, hold your tongue on that stuff. We're not interested.

18)  And if you're just lashing out? Hold your tongue and focus on the root of what's making you mad.

19)  However, if you hold your tongue and say nothing, but instead express understanding, then you will have a chance ...

20)  ... struggling to survive like the people you pity so much are. Hold your tongue. Who are you to tell someone whom you've never met that their suffering ...