verb (1)
\ˈhȯlt \
halted; halting; halts

Definition of halt 

(Entry 1 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to cease marching or journeying

2 : discontinue, terminate the project halted for lack of funds

transitive verb

1 : to bring to a stop the strike halted subways and buses

2 : to cause the discontinuance of : end halt hostilities



Definition of halt (Entry 2 of 4)

: stop The car came to a halt. brought production to a halt


verb (2)
halted; halting; halts

Definition of halt (Entry 3 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to walk or proceed lamely : limp

2 : to be in a state of uncertainty or doubt between alternate courses or choices : waver

3 : to display weakness or imperfection : falter The argument often halts and sometimes breaks down completely.



Definition of halt (Entry 4 of 4)

: having a manner of walking that is impaired by a limp : lame

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Examples of halt in a Sentence


They put a halt to the rumors. The car skidded to a halt.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Following the murder in Istanbul of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Trump administration has stepped up efforts to halt the war in Yemen. Sune Engel Rasmussen And Saleh Al-batati, WSJ, "Yemen’s War Opens Way for al Qaeda’s Revival," 22 Nov. 2018 Also Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that dismantling an Iran nuclear accord would threaten global efforts to halt North Korea's nuclear program. Fox News, "Trump says he believes nuclear deal with N.Korea possible," 28 Sep. 2018 Trains service around Genoa had been halted shortly following the crash, reports Reuters, but ItaliaRail is currently taking bookings for trips out of Genoa to Milan. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Genoa's Ponte Morandi Bridge Collapses, Killing 22," 14 Aug. 2018 Smith said, citing Trump’s efforts to halt Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election interference. Jim Brunner, The Seattle Times, "Rep. Adam Smith: Hard to see Trump’s summit conduct ‘as anything other than treason’," 16 July 2018 In March of 2017, the biopharmaceutical company filed a suit against Russian Nativa in an effort to halt their production and sale of the drug. Mckenna Moore, Fortune, "Russian Drugmaker Granted License to Produce Celgene Copycat," 11 July 2018 Needle exchange programs are an exhaustively studied, proven public health intervention in the fight against opioid addiction — making them a key component in efforts to halt the opioid epidemic. German Lopez, Vox, "Needle exchanges have been exhaustively studied — and proved to work. But stigma remains.," 22 June 2018 The race was halted with Stewart-Haas Racing claiming the top three spots. George Sipple, Detroit Free Press, "FireKeepers Casino 400: Clint Bowyer's pit gamble on tires pays off," 10 June 2018 In an effort to halt the flow, Bosnia has sent extra police to its borders with Serbia and Montenegro. The Economist, "Bosnia’s politicians are arguing about a mysterious wave of arrivals," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The film’s halt can be seen as the end of the studio’s standalone film experiment, but can a film that was never officially announced actually be considered dead? Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Lucasfilm canceling its Boba Fett film could be good news for Star Wars’ future," 26 Oct. 2018 After bringing the crocodile to a halt by distracting him with the carcass, Jensen walks behind the creature, hops on its back and beams at the camera. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Danish tourist slammed by wildlife official for jumping on crocodile," 25 Sep. 2018 All this to say, my fashion purchases came to a grinding, screeching halt. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "How Having a Baby Ended My Fashion Obsession," 28 Aug. 2018 Even when the landslide halts, currents suspend ground rock and carry it in a turbidity current that’s like an underwater dust storm. Rob Goodier, Popular Mechanics, "How Climate Change Could Break the Internet," 19 July 2018 Attorney General investigation: Governor's office halts auto-tweet policy after criticism of link to Curtis Hill statement SVT patients sometimes go months or years without experiencing an episode, Kean said. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Fishers teen discovers she has heart defect after wearing Fitbit," 14 July 2018 Related stories from Sacramento Bee Panhandlers can ask for cash near ATMs and stores as judge halts Sacramento crackdown Sacramento wants to build large homeless shelters. Cynthia Hubert, sacbee, "This man cost Sacramento County more in one year than any other homeless person," 8 July 2018 The Trump administration had threatened a complete halt to Iranian oil exports, prompting other producers to boost output to compensate. Sarah Mcfarlane, WSJ, "Saudis Move to Counter U.S. Oil Strategy," 16 Nov. 2018 By the first week of October, the partisan battle had dragged Washington to a halt. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "How Many Women Does It Take to Change a Congress?," 10 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Even partial emissions cuts that halt warming a few degrees Fahrenheit sooner could cut that almost in half. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "US tries to bury report on climate change’s dire health, economic impacts," 26 Nov. 2018 There are also the usual VPN features such as DNS leak protection and an Internet Kill Switch that halts your internet access should the VPN connection drop. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "ProtonVPN review: Underground data centers, one-click multi-hop, and more make for a great choice," 4 Sep. 2018 Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, has announced that while his site will comply with federal orders to halt internationally publishing CAD files of firearms on his website, such compliance comes with a catch. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Defense Distributed Is Selling 3D Printed Gun Files—Through the Mail," 28 Aug. 2018 The United Nationals Population Fund, UNFPA Supplies, is predicting a $700 million funding gap over the next three years that could halt support to 46 countries with modern contraceptives if the money is not raised. Alex Connor, USA TODAY, "World Population Day: Family planning is a human right — but it comes at a cost," 10 July 2018 But much of the city and the country shut down as most businesses remained closed because of protests and looting and a general strike on Monday that halted the minibuses and taxis that most Haitians depend on to get to work and school. BostonGlobe.com, "General strike, unrest over fuel prices continue in Haiti," 10 July 2018 The Trump administration’s decision to halt federal health insurance transfer payments will lead to uncertainty and market disruption, insurers say. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "Insurers See 'Uncertainty' From Trump Administration Payment Halt," 9 July 2018 The city of Atlanta filed a lawsuit, residents and others filed legal challenges that halted the project, and candidates in opposition to airport commercialization won seats on Paulding’s county commission. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "FAA brings Paulding airport commercialization to a halt," 28 June 2018 The president last week signed an executive order to halt the separation of families at the border, at least for a few weeks, but the order did not address the reunification of families already separated. NBC News, "Melania Trump makes second trip to U.S.-Mexico border," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

He is expected to visit Tokyo Thursday and his office has lodge a formal complaint and request that US forces halt flight operations until the cause of Tuesday's accident is determined. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "20-pound US helicopter window falls off mid-flight, injuring child in Okinawa," 13 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'halt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of halt

Verb (1)

1656, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1598, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for halt

Verb (1)

see halt entry 2


German, from Middle High German, from halt, imperative of halten to hold, from Old High German haltan — more at hold

Verb (2)

see halt entry 4


Middle English, from Old English healt; akin to Old High German halz lame

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Dictionary Entries near halt








Statistics for halt

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for halt

The first known use of halt was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for halt



English Language Learners Definition of halt

: the stopping or ending of movement, progress, or action

: a small railroad stop at which there is no station


\ˈhȯlt \
halted; halting

Kids Definition of halt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to stop or cause to stop marching or traveling

2 : end entry 2 We halt work at four o'clock.



Kids Definition of halt (Entry 2 of 2)

: end entry 1 sense 2 Call a halt to the fighting.

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More from Merriam-Webster on halt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with halt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for halt

Spanish Central: Translation of halt

Nglish: Translation of halt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of halt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on halt

What made you want to look up halt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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