When I look for "hold" on dictionaries, Longman says

hold somebody responsible/accountable/liable (for something) to say or decide that someone should accept the responsibility for something bad that happens

If anything happens to her, I’ll hold you personally responsible.

He may have had a terrible childhood, but he should still be held accountable for his own actions. Longman

But Oxford says

17 ​[transitive] (formal) to consider that something is true

hold that… I still hold that the government's economic policies are mistaken.

hold somebody/something + adj. Parents will be held responsible for their children's behaviour.

Then here, in Oxford's sentence, "Parents will be held responsible for their children's behaviour.", can I interpret it in two ways?

  1. Parents will be considered that they are responsible for their chilrdern's behaviour. (=so parents are acknolwedged that they are already responsible.)

  2. Parents should be responsible for their children's behaviour.

Did I get it correctly?

  • I just want to suggest that may be you should wait a few more hours after asking a question to select an answer as your accepted one. If you wait, you will get more answers. If you accept an answer within just an hour, your question will not get as much attention as it would have had you not accepted the first answer so quickly. Please see this: Not so fast! (When should I accept my answer?).
    – AIQ
    Oct 22, 2019 at 5:50
  • @AIQ I see. Thank you. Oct 22, 2019 at 6:07

1 Answer 1


You are correct.

It does, indeed, mean that the parents are considered to be responsible for their children's behaviors, and it is expected that they know and understand their responsibility.

About the definitions given by Oxford, I think it'd be better if you think of to consider that something is true as a somewhat separate meaning from "hold someone responsible/accountable". While the definition is correct, "to hold someone responsible/accountable" is a rather common phrase and can be considered a phrase of its own.

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