verb (1)
\ ˈhȯlt How to pronounce halt (audio) \
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

Anisimova was up a break and serving at 2-1 in the third when her coach signaled from the stands that play should be halted because of rain. Howard Fendrich, Houston Chronicle, "Rafael Nadal tops Roger Federer in 3 sets to reach 12th French Open final," 7 June 2019 Palin's comments came Wednesday night at a downtown Kansas City rally for U.S. Senate candidate Tony Monetti, a week after Trump signed an executive order halting his administration's policy. Allison Kite, kansascity, "Palin, ‘very angry’ with parents crossing the border, blames them for separations," 28 June 2018 The Supreme Court on Thursday denied a bid from gun-rights advocates to temporarily halt the Trump administration’s ban on rapid-fire bump stock devices like the ones used in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Supreme Court Denies Attempt to Stop Bump-Stock Ban," 28 Mar. 2019 The conflict even forced the WHO to temporarily halt its response in Beni, a city in North Kivu where 33 people have been infected with Ebola. Julia Belluz, Vox, "An Ebola “perfect storm” is brewing in the Democratic Republic of Congo," 28 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 United Airlines temporarily halted carrying animals in its cargo hold after two deaths earlier this year. Chris Morris, Fortune, "JetBlue Crew Helps Dog in Distress by Deploying Oxygen," 9 July 2018 President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily halted his administration’s separation of immigrant families, promising to end the separation of migrant children from their parents. Jennifer Calfas, Time, "'They’re Anxious.' Separated Migrant Children in Foster Care Are Now in Limbo After Trump’s Immigration Order," 21 June 2018 Unions are successful when the labor force has a specialized skill or is concentrated such that halting work has an impact. Lauren Silva Laughlin, WSJ, "Uber Drivers’ Virtual Picket Line Suffers Tech Discount," 9 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

North Korea has continued its yearlong halt in weapon tests but wants the U.S. to ease sanctions in exchange for further steps on its nuclear and missile programs. Matthew Pennington, The Seattle Times, "US sanctions Singapore companies over North Korea dealings," 25 Oct. 2018 Compared to cyberattacks that shut down entire electric grids in the Ukraine and a ransomware virus that hobbled services in Atlanta for days, the natural gas industry has avoided any attacks causing a halt in services. Don Santa, Houston Chronicle, "Commentary: Administration’s action on coal, nuclear solves a problem that doesn’t exist," 5 July 2018 The temporary halt in fighting is only for three days, June 15-18. The Christian Science Monitor, "Clues of peace in Afghanistan," 15 June 2018 And the Trump administration ordered a seven-year halt in American shipments of computer microchips and software that are at the heart of most of ZTE's telecommunications gear. Tami Abdollah, chicagotribune.com, "Can anything stop foreign government favors to Trump?," 23 May 2018 The tax has led to boisterous town meetings, protests by construction workers and a halt in the building of an Amazon tower in downtown Seattle. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Seattle and Chicago are now targets for Arizona officials seeking to lure businesses," 15 May 2018 The Trump administration threatened ZTE’s existence as a business last month when the Commerce Department ordered a seven-year halt in US shipments of computer microchips and software at the heart of most of ZTE’s gear. Keith Bradsher, BostonGlobe.com, "China welcomes Trump’s help on ZTE as trade talks loom," 14 May 2018 For decades, politicians have shied away from taking privileges away from those public-sector employees, represented by unions that forced much of France to grind to a halt for three weeks in November 1995. Bloomberg.com, "France’s Once-Vaunted Trains Are Macron’s Biggest Challenge Yet," 3 Apr. 2018 The halt in the middle of his gait gives him the look of a retiree, ambling toward an afternoon of shuffleboard. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "MSU's Joshua Langford learning to play in Miles Bridges' shadow," 18 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Unfortunately, the aforementioned Switzerland halted them from having a final crack of the whip, after a 3-3 aggregate defeat cost them a chance of a play-off final. SI.com, "2019 Women's World Cup: The Top FIFA-Ranked Sides Who Won't Feature This Summer," 5 June 2019 Hasta Cuba also isn’t halting its trips to the island. Sarah Feldberg, SFChronicle.com, "Trump’s Cuba crackdown hits Bay Area travel outfitters," 4 June 2019 In another discrimination case, in 1992, Judge Burns halted attempts by the town of Fairfield to block a charity from establishing long-term housing in a residential area for a group of homeless people with AIDS and their families. Joseph P. Fried, New York Times, "Ellen Bree Burns, Barrier-Breaking Connecticut Judge, Dies at 95," 4 June 2019 Significant tariffs by Mexico could halt that flow. Matt Egan, CNN, "America's refineries really need Mexican oil. Tariffs will hurt their business," 4 June 2019 Last year, the Energy Department halted demolition of its shuttered plutonium finishing plant after plutonium dust repeatedly set off evacuation alarms at the work site, drifted miles away to a public road and coated workers’ cars. Ralph Vartabedian, latimes.com, "Nation’s most ambitious project to clean up nuclear weapons waste has stalled at Hanford," 4 June 2019 The suit wants a judge to reject and halt Nike’s use of the logo, arguing that Nike committed fraud in obtaining a copyright for it. oregonlive.com, "Kawhi Leonard asks court to reject Nike’s copyright of his ‘Klaw’ logo," 3 June 2019 But the apocalypse is also halted with big thanks to Nick, who sacrifices himself when the original trap for the Dark Lord doesn't work. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 10 Apr. 2019 According to Deadline, when the heartbreaking news of Perry's passing was confirmed, the series halted production. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hollywood Mourns the Death of 90210 and Riverdale Star Luke Perry," 5 Mar. 2019

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

Noun and Verb (1)

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

Adjective and Verb (2)

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

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More Definitions for halt



English Language Learners Definition of halt

: the stopping or ending of movement, progress, or action
British : a small railroad stop at which there is no station


\ ˈhȯlt How to pronounce halt (audio) \
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

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behavior toward others

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