Etymology
Advertisement
withhold (v.)
c. 1200, from with- "back, away" (see with) + holden "to hold" (see hold (v.)); probably a loan-translation of Latin retinere "to withhold." Related: Withheld; withholding. Past participle form withholden was still used 19c.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
with (prep.)

Old English wið "against, opposite, from, toward, by, near," a shortened form related to wiðer, from Proto-Germanic *withro- "against" (source also of Old Saxon withar "against," Old Norse viðr "against, with, toward, at," Middle Dutch, Dutch weder, Dutch weer "again," Gothic wiþra "against, opposite"), from PIE *wi-tero-, literally "more apart," suffixed form of *wi- "separation" (source also of Sanskrit vi "apart," Avestan vi- "asunder," Sanskrit vitaram "further, farther," Old Church Slavonic vutoru "other, second"). Compare widow (n.).

Sense shifted in Middle English to denote association, combination, and union, partly by influence of Old Norse vidh, and also perhaps by Latin cum "with" (as in pugnare cum "fight with"). In this sense, it replaced Old English mid "with," which survives only as a prefix (as in midwife). Original sense of "against, in opposition" is retained in compounds such as withhold, withdraw, withstand.

Often treated as a conjunction by ungrammatical writers and used where and would be correct. First record of with child "pregnant" is recorded from c. 1200. With it "cool" is African-American vernacular, recorded by 1931. French avec "with" was originally avoc, from Vulgar Latin *abhoc, from apud hoc, literally "with this."

Related entries & more 
disfavor (n.)

1530s "unfavorable regard, slight displeasure;" 1580s, "state of being regarded unfavorably;" see dis- "the opposite of" + favor (n.). As a verb, "withdraw or withhold favor or support," from 1560s. Related: Disfavored; disfavoring.

Related entries & more 
distrust (v.)

early 15c., "have a doubt or dread of" (a sense now obsolete); 1540s, "withhold trust or confidence from; doubt or suspect," from dis- + trust (v.) . "The etymologically correct form is mistrust, in which both elements are Teutonic" [Klein]. Related: Distrusted; distrusting.

Related entries & more 
abstention (n.)
Origin and meaning of abstention

1520s, "a holding off, refusal to do something," from French abstention (Old French astencion), from Late Latin abstentionem (nominative abstentio) "the act of retaining," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin abstinere/abstenere "withhold, keep back, keep off," from assimilated form of ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"). As "a refraining from voting" by 1859.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
abstinence (n.)
Origin and meaning of abstinence
mid-14c., "forbearance in indulgence of the appetites," from Old French abstinance (earlier astenance), from Latin abstinentia "abstinence, starvation; self-restraint, integrity," abstract noun from abstinentem (nominative abstinens), present participle of abstinere/abstenere "withhold, keep back, keep off," from assimilated form of ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Especially of sexual appetites but also in Middle English of food, fighting, luxury.
Related entries & more 
abstinent (adj.)
Origin and meaning of abstinent
late 14c., "refraining from undue indulgence," especially in reference to food and drink, from Old French abstinent (earlier astenant) "moderate, abstemious, modest," from Latin abstinentem (nominative abstinens) "temperate, moderate," present participle of abstinere, abstenere "withhold, keep back, keep off," from assimilated form of ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch."
Related entries & more 
hold-out (n.)
also holdout, one who abstains or refrains when others do not, by 1911, from verbal expression hold out, which is attested from 1907 in the sense "keep back, detain, withhold" (see hold (v.) + out (adv.)). Earlier as the name of a card-sharper's device (1893). The verbal phrase is attested from 1520s as "stretch forth," 1580s as "resist pressure."
Related entries & more 
detain (v.)

early 15c. (implied in deteined), "keep back or away, withhold," from Old French detenir "to hold off, keep back" (12c.), from Latin detinere "hold off, keep back," from de "from, away" (see de-) + tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch."

Legal sense of "to hold in custody" is from late 15c. (late 13c. in Anglo-French). Meaning "keep or restrain from proceeding" is from 1590s. Modern spelling is 17c., from influence of contain, retain, etc. Related: Detained; detaining.

Related entries & more 
reserve (v.)

mid-14c., "keep back or in store for future use;" late 14c., "keep as one's own," from Old French reserver "set aside, withhold" (12c.) and directly from Latin reservare "keep back, save up; retain, preserve," from re- "back" (see re-) + servare "to keep, save, preserve, protect" (from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect"). Meaning "to book" is from 1935. Related: Reserved; reserving.

Related entries & more