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

Westwood and Tisci shared the vision to support UK non-profit organization Cool Earth, which supports efforts in rainforest communities to halt deforestation and climate change. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Moss Stars in Vivienne Westwood's and Burberry's Collab Campaign," 6 Dec. 2018 Earlier this year, more than 3,000 Googlers signed a letter asking Pichai to halt work on a military drone project. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Google employees demand that Google stop work on censored Chinese search," 27 Nov. 2018 President Trump on Tuesday announced plans to leave the Iran nuclear deal, declaring the pact has failed to halt the country’s nuclear ambitions in perhaps the biggest foreign policy decision of his administration. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Trump vows to withdraw from Iran nuclear agreement, calls pact ‘defective at its core’," 2 Oct. 2018 Following that recall, Porsche opted to halt production altogether on its diesel engines, rather than update them to adhere to existing regulations. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Porsche says that it will no longer make diesel vehicles," 23 Sep. 2018 The operation worked to halt various acts of domestic terrorism, such as the bombing of local gay bars, stealing of military grade weapons and uncover people who were connected to ultra right-wing, anti-government groups. Taylor Crumpton, Teen Vogue, "The Real-Life Story Behind "BlacKkKlansman"," 10 Aug. 2018 The same rules treat the euro zone’s 19 members as separate jurisdictions, not as a single one, which raises the minimum requirements for big cross-border banks (though probably not by enough to halt a merger of healthy lenders). The Economist, "Why the euro zone hasn’t seen more cross-border bank mergers," 12 July 2018 Less than 24 hours after mounting a nine-run, 15-hit attack to halt a 10-game losing streak, the Royals’ pitching staff surrendered an early lead and lost to the Twins 8-5 at Target Field on Wednesday afternoon. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Unable to keep early lead vs. Twins, Royals drop another series," 11 July 2018 When an animal or plant is declared endangered, the federal government has the authority to halt development projects in the species’ habitat. Peter S. Alagona, Outside Online, "The Endangered Species Act Needs a Reboot," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s no reason to let an arbitrary deadline put a halt to ongoing negotiations. Heather Gillers, WSJ, "Panel Won’t Meet Deadline on Fix for Multiemployer Pension Plans," 29 Nov. 2018 The Democratic takeover of the House could certainly help put a halt to, if not reverse, backsliding. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Trump has eroded important democratic institutions. Will Democratic wins change that?," 8 Nov. 2018 In January, City Council voted to put a halt to CCHIP as Mayor Ron Nirenberg encouraged a shift in focus toward affordable housing in the city’s housing programs. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "Developer cancels $83 million apartment tower next to city hall," 5 July 2018 The mortgage lenders will then put a halt to any foreclosures proceedings, with multiple filings one right after the other having the potential to prolong the process even longer. Cassie Dickman, sacbee, "Federal grand jury indicts Elk Grove woman on 18 counts related to bankruptcy scheme," 29 June 2018 My doctor referred me to a psychopharmacologist, who told me to go back to my original dose of Lexapro and to put a halt to my drinking. Steven Petrow, Washington Post, "I wasn’t suicidal, until suddenly, terrifyingly I was," 23 June 2018 Though lawmakers failed to pass a funding mechanism for the schools this year — essentially putting a halt on their ability to open — some have speculated that charters could see new life under a potential state takeover of JCPS. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "JCPS receives no charter school applications, but law leaves door open," 21 June 2018 On December 31st, 2017, China put a halt to a lot of the plastic waste that foreign countries like the US sent to its shores for disposal. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "China’s plastic waste ban will leave 111 million tons of trash with nowhere to go," 20 June 2018 Then, Jones put a halt to his lengthy early summer slump, hitting the game-winning home run to left field. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers rally again, take down Twins, 3-1, to win series," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So unable to halt mass emigration or back off on immigration, Orbán decided to force Hungarians to work more without any immediate reward. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Hungary’s prime minister stole the country’s democracy. Now Hungarians are rising up.," 17 Dec. 2018 If the Nasdaq and Dow industrials end the week lower, that would halt an impressive run of eight consecutive weeks of gains. Will Horner, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks End Lower on Disappointing Data, Earnings," 21 Feb. 2019 Belgium has halted all incoming and outbound air traffic for 24 hours as air traffic controllers participate in a national strike over low wages. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Belgium Cancels All Flights For 24 Hours as Air Traffic Controllers Strike," 13 Feb. 2019 Even if, despite all this, Australian lawmakers voted against the budget, funding would not immediately stop and payments to employees would only halt after a longer period of time. Rick Noack, The Seattle Times, "Australia tried its own government shutdown in 1975. The queen was not amused and it never happened again.," 2 Jan. 2019 The order halts the automatic 2.1 percent increase all civilian workers would have received under federal pay laws. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Trump orders federal pay freeze for 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 It’s late summer in Brooklyn, and two 20-somethings, a woman and a man, have halted at an intersection. Zoey Grossman; Fashion Editor: Miguel Enamorado, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey Baldwin Gets Candid About Fashion, Family, and Life In the Spotlight," 16 Oct. 2018 The company has now halted that rollout after many reports that installing the update is causing serious data loss: specifically, deleting the Documents, and perhaps Pictures, folders. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Data-deletion bug forces Microsoft to suspend rollout of Windows 10 update," 6 Oct. 2018 The Washington Post reported that without the means to make sure a person is eligible to work in the U.S., companies in Dallas, Texas who rely on immigrant workers are halting their hiring process. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "5 Ways the Government Shutdown Is Impacting Americans," 3 Jan. 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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Statistics for halt

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

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
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

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