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

Chelsea also halted plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge, citing an unfavorable climate to invest in the 500 million pound ($660 million) project. Steve Douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Chelsea replace Conte with former Napoli boss Sarri," 14 July 2018 The carriage halted, and Clapp hopped down into the street. Paul Collins, BostonGlobe.com, "What lies in the lab: The gruesome murder at Harvard that transfixed New England," 11 July 2018 The central bank halted the rout by lifting rates yet again. New York Times, "Turkey’s Economy Is So Hot That It May Face a Meltdown," 10 July 2018 President Donald Trump abruptly halted the policy last month under mounting political pressure. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Vice President Pence blasts calls to abolish ICE, calls agents 'heroes,'," 6 July 2018 The judge halted enforcement of those provisions of the law. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "California’s sanctuary laws at a glance," 5 July 2018 The ruling halted an extradition request from Poland that one of its nationals, Artur Celmer, should be handed over to face drugs charges. The Economist, "Breaking point: December 2020," 5 July 2018 Earlier this year, Marco Andretti halted a five-year drought with his first pole position since 2013. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar: 5 storylines as series heads to Hunter-Reay's home away from home, Iowa Speedway," 5 July 2018 Despite having ample evidence that Jesus will work it out, a Catholic priest halted a homegoing service in Maryland to have a black family removed from the church. Michael Harriot, The Root, "#MourningWhileBlack: Priest Calls Cops on Black Funeral-Goers, Tells Them to 'Get the Hell Out' of Church," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On Thursday, the United States said North Korea has already exceeded the annual cap allowed for oil imports, and asked the United Nations to order an immediate halt to all transfers of oil to the country. David Nakamura, chicagotribune.com, "Trump releases 'nice note' from Kim Jong Un praising progress despite setbacks in talks," 12 July 2018 The United States said Thursday that North Korea has already exceeded the annual cap allowed for oil imports, and asked the United Nations to order an immediate halt to all transfers of oil to the country. Carol Morello, Washington Post, "U.S. urges U.N. to halt all oil transfers to North Korea," 12 July 2018 In the San Diego ruling, U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw ordered an immediate halt to the practice by immigration authorities of taking children from their parents. Joel Rubin, latimes.com, "Trump administration tells judge it has authority to keep immigrant families in long-term detention," 30 June 2018 The day Trump ordered a halt to separations, HHS had custody of 2,053 children who’d been taken from caregivers arrested for unlawfully crossing the border. Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg.com, "Trump Policy Sows Confusion and Anxiety Across the Mexican Border," 28 June 2018 Amid the fuss, municipal authorities ordered a halt to construction, and final building permits have yet to be issued. Menelaos Hadjicostis, Fox News, "In split Cyprus, a homecoming digs up old conflicts," 28 June 2018 But after images and audio of distressed children prompted a public uproar, Trump changed course and ordered a halt to the practice — raising new questions on where and how to detain families crossing the border illegally. Lori Weisberg, sandiegouniontribune.com, "March against family separation at border turns confrontational," 23 June 2018 By Tuesday, however, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem sided with the governor’s attorney and ordered a halt to the discovery process and blocked Pedroli from interviewing current or former Greitens staff. Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Lawyer says screenshot proves Greitens’ staff used Confide for public business," 19 June 2018 Two years ago, the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, which manages the tracks for the cites and Hamilton County, ordered a halt to the train. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Feds give go-ahead to Nickel Plate greenway in Hamilton County," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Under intense criticism, including from Republican leaders, Trump signed an executive order last month halting family separations. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Unmarked vans, security fences: family reunification proceeds behind curtain of secrecy," 12 July 2018 According to ABC News, demonstrations began after the shooting and halted for Rose's funeral on Monday. Paula Rogo, Essence.com, "Hundreds Gather to Lay Antwon Rose, Jr. to Rest in East Pittsburg," 26 June 2018 Apparently, refrigerating them before that point can slow or completely halt the ripening process, in turn ruining the fruit. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Store Pretty Much Any Kind of Produce," 25 June 2018 Those who do not halt immigration at their borders are lost: slowly but surely they are consumed. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Hungary just passed a “Stop Soros” law that makes it illegal to help undocumented migrants," 22 June 2018 Opposition Mounts At present, a number of lawsuits brought by environmentalists and Native American tribes are moving through the courts seeking to have restore federal protection for grizzlies, which would result in sport hunts being halted. National Geographic, "Yellowstone-Area Grizzly Bears to Be Hunted for First Time in Decades," 24 May 2018 First reported by Kotaku, a Sony rep has since confirmed to The Verge that the company’s American and European branches — not its Japanese locations — will halt production by the end of 2018’s fiscal year. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "PS Vita physical games are dead, but it doesn’t need them anyway," 20 May 2018 Centennial, stuck inside after lightning halted its playoff game against Long Reach on Thursday, ended up in an empty gym with a net and a few exercise balls. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Nine-run sixth inning powers Centennial baseball to playoff win over Long Reach," 11 May 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

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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Statistics for halt

Last Updated

14 Oct 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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Comments on halt

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