What is the opposite word (or antonym) for the word "Behold" as in the phrase "Behold the mighty ..."?

  • 6
    What would that word mean? Do you mean "Ignore"? Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 7:53
  • Hi Joachim, thanks for the reply. imo, the word behold mean "to have the power to perceive by sight"). As for the reason for putting such a question is because I saw in the dictionary (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/behold), it mention that the antonyms of "Behold" is "miss". If I use the word "Miss the mighty ...", I am not sure if people will laugh at me. However, you mention "Ignore", seems kind of fit it well in the "Ignore the mighty ...". Are there still other antonyms of "Behold"? Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 8:56
  • 4
    "Cover your eyes and run away!"
    – jprete
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


Behold is defined as

  1. to perceive through sight or apprehension
  2. to gaze upon

however it is an old word, which uses these meaning specifically

  • used in the imperative especially to call attention
  • used in phrases such as 'eye of the beholder' and 'lo and behold' (ngrams)

So, the question is which meaning and usage you want to make the opposite of.

As Larry Morries suggested, one possibility is to ignore. Another would be your suggestion to miss (ignore denotes conscious effort, while miss does not).

Few other antonyms are: disregard, neglect, overlook.
Another source lists near antonyms: misapprehend, misconceive, misconstrue, misinterpret, misperceive, misread, mistake, misunderstand and disregard, ignore, neglect, overpass, pass over; miss, overlook

Although each time you use behold there is a certain grandness and a sense of pause that is implied: 'Behold the mighty Joe!'

'Ignore the mighty Joe!' does not carry the same tone, but it is an antonym of 'to gaze upon' and it is an imperative.

Maybe to preserve the tone of the whole phrase: 'Pay no attention to the mighty Joe!' works better.

  • 5
    Perfect answer. Behold the Great Wizard of Oz; pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
    – Andrew Vit
    Commented Nov 15, 2011 at 10:14

"Avert your eyes!" would specifically mean "Look away", with a purpose to avoid the physical or psychological damage of looking at welding sparks or a crumpled car with half a child inside.

"Move along folks, nothing to see here." Is traditionally accosted with a policeman or other first-responder trying to get a crowd who has gathered to observe some dramatic crime or accident. Whereas the former is an impassioned warning, this is purposely boring.

The most recognized example of an antonym to "Behold!" in American film would have to be "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" from the Wizard of Oz.

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