9

Examples of context:

LEGAL AND FINANCIAL DISCLAIMER
I am not an attorney, accountant or financial advisor, nor am I holding myself out to be.

I am not, nor am I holding myself out to be a doctor/physician, nurse, physician's assistant, advanced practice nurse, or any other medical professional ("Medical Provider"), psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselor, or social worker ("Mental Health Provider"), registered dietician or licensed nutritionist, or member of the clergy

I've checked multiple dictionary entries for the phrasal verb "hold out", such as:

but none of them seem to perfectly match the pattern "hold [something] out to be [something]".

Are the dictionaries missing something or am I missing something?

2
  • 1
    I only hear holding yourself up to be. To me, holding out means waiting until. Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 19:12
  • You can hold X to be Y too.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 23:40

3 Answers 3

8

I think it is an expression used mainly in legal contexts:

holding out: conduct by a person leading another to believe that he possesses an authority that in reality he does not.

(The Free Dictionary)

2

Yes; even the Oxford Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs doesn't seem to carry this one.

Ivy Vu, at English Forum, gives the correct definition:

I would suggest the following meanings for "hold oneself out to be":

  • claim to be

  • present oneself as

-2

I've checked multiple dictionary entries for the phrasal verb "hold out", such as:

https://www.wordreference.com/definition/hold%20out

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2023

https://www.wordreference.com/definition/hold%20out

37. hold out:

to present; offer.

EDIT in response to

I fail to see how that definition matches the context of my question. Would you say "I present/offer myself to be an attorney/doctor/physician"?

I would say:

"I am not an attorney, accountant or financial advisor, nor am I holding (=presenting/offering) myself out to be [an attorney, accountant or financial advisor]."

The idea is one of holding an object in the hand and presenting or offering it to be taken/accepted.

2
  • 5
    I fail to see how that definition matches the context of my question. Would you say "I present/offer myself to be an attorney/doctor/physician"? Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 20:12
  • @PabloMessina I am surprised that you and three others cannot see the metaphor - I am not an attorney, accountant or financial advisor, nor am I holding (=presenting/offering) myself out to be [an attorney, accountant or financial advisor]. The idea is one of holding an object in the hand and presenting or offering it to be taken.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 8:17

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