Meaning of ‘Hold your nose’ – English Idioms

What Does ‘Hold your nose’ Mean?

In this lesson I’m going to talk about the idiom “to hold your nose.” So, what does that mean? Well, to “hold your nose” is to go like this.


Okay, so there are a few different reasons why we might hold our nose. The most common reasons would be if we want to avoid a bad smell or a bad odor, that’s one reason. Or, if we are going to swim or jump in the water, then we may want to hold our nose.


Now, we can also “hold our nose” figuratively. We hold our nose figuratively, if we’re going to do something unpleasant or something we don’t really want to do.


So, for example, I could say, “I don’t really want to talk to the board of directors, but I’m going to hold my nose and do it anyways.” So in that case, we don’t want to talk to the board of directors because it will be unpleasant, we don’t want to. So, you’re going to figuratively “hold your nose” and just force yourself to do it.


Remember, we have the figurative way, and then the literal way, like this.


I hope you learned something new and that now you can understand and use this phrase when practicing your English.