holdfast (plural holdfasts)

  1. Something to or by which an object can be securely fastened.
    • 1658, Sir Thomas Browne, The Garden of Cyrus (Folio Society 2007, p. 198)
      And Ivy divided from the root, we have observed to live some years, by the cirrous parts commonly conceived but as tentacles and holdfasts unto it.
  2. (biology) A root-like structure that anchors aquatic sessile organisms, such as seaweed, other sessile algae, stalked crinoids, benthic cnidarians, and sponges, to the substrate.
    hyponyms en
  3. (archaic, medicine) Actinomycosis.

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