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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Synonyms & Antonyms for halt

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb (2)

Antonyms: Verb (2)

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Examples of halt in a Sentence

Noun They put a halt to the rumors. The car skidded to a halt.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb However, a Los Angeles Times investigation found that, as the pandemic raged, the state kept prison factories running, even as rehabilitation programs, educational classes and religious services were canceled to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Los Angeles Times, "He wants to kick Jim Crow out of the California Constitution," 24 Feb. 2021 Ecologists are calling on anglers and recreators to halt their spread. Popular Science, "A spiky flea could ruin Midwestern ecosystems and kill native fish," 17 Feb. 2021 Israel temporarily shut its only international airport late last month to halt the spread of new Covid-19 variants in the country. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Symptomatic Covid-19 Cases Dropped 94% With Pfizer Vaccine, Israeli Data Show," 15 Feb. 2021 Volunteers and police officers in several parts of the U.K. started going door-to-door on Tuesday handing out 80,000 coronavirus test kits to try to halt the spread of the variant, Reuters reports. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2021," 6 Feb. 2021 Reopening will depend on many factors, including efforts to halt the spread of the highly contagious variants and whether the public takes the proper precautions. Laurie Kellman, Star Tribune, "Israel, a global leader in COVID vaccinations, finds limits," 5 Feb. 2021 The laws, which have been in place for six months to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, have not been cited at all by Tucson and Flagstaff law enforcement. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Back in class, late-night shots, library hero: News from around our 50 states," 12 Jan. 2021 In addition, electricity demand in New England fell between 3% and 5% as businesses and schools shut to halt the spread of the coronavirus, ISO-New England, the region’s grid operator, reported in April. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "Climate change in Connecticut in 2020: A massive storm, drought and a push to develop more wind energy," 30 Dec. 2020 Dozens of countries have effectively tried to seal off the islands of the United Kingdom in a drastic attempt to halt the global spread of a new coronavirus variant. NBC News, "Trump issues over a dozen pardons, blasts Covid relief bill," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While visitation wanes as the mercury drops, the waterfalls also grind to a near halt until they’re replenished by winter precipitation. Shawnté Salabert, Outside Online, "The Ultimate Yosemite National Park Travel Guide," 22 Feb. 2021 But that’s when things came to a crashing halt for Normandy. Joe Magill, cleveland, "Berea-Midpark rides second-half surge to Div. I girls basketball sectional title, 54-41 over Normandy," 18 Feb. 2021 The push to protect Los Angeles Fire Department personnel from COVID-19 has ground to a near halt as many firefighters decline to take the vaccine. Ben Welsh, Los Angeles Times, "Drive to get COVID-19 vaccine to L.A. firefighters loses steam as 40% fail to show up," 16 Jan. 2021 Once the House formally sends its article to the Senate, a trial must commence almost immediately and rules dictate that all other business come to a near immediate halt and remain frozen until a verdict is reached. New York Times, "Senate Plans Trial for Trump as G.O.P. Weighs Risks of Convicting," 14 Jan. 2021 The coronavirus pandemic brought a travel boom to a crashing halt last spring as people stopped traveling for work and everything from weddings to funerals were held over Zoom. Alison Sider, WSJ, "Airlines Buckle Their Seat Belts for a Bumpy 2021," 1 Jan. 2021 Altogether, 104 judgeships were open after Republicans used their Senate majority to grind the nomination process to a near halt in Obama’s final two years in office. Mark Sherman, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump made lasting impact on federal courts," 26 Dec. 2020 One industry after another saw activity grind to a near halt in March as the pandemic broke out in the United States. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "14 of the biggest bankruptcies of 2020—and who might be next in 2021," 21 Dec. 2020 The pandemic brought air travel to a near halt in March, with March 16 being the last day of more than 1 million people screened by TSA until this fall. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Weekend air travel hits pandemic-era record, despite health officials' pleas to stay home," 23 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In some states, the governor was the one who ordered elective surgeries to halt to keep hospital beds open for Covid patients. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Elective, but not optional: Orthopedic patients eagerly await surgeries delayed by Covid-19," 27 Jan. 2021 However, in mid-July, when the coronavirus numbers began to spike, Newsom ordered all houses of worship in counties with high case rates to again halt indoor services. CBS News, "Some Southern California churches set to hold indoor services for the holidays," 24 Dec. 2020 Liquor stores, supermarkets, pubs and restaurants in the country were ordered to halt retail of alcohol when Covid-19 infections started to gain traction in late March, a prohibition that remained in place for more than two months. Janice Kew, Bloomberg.com, "South Africa’s Drinks Makers Move to Fend Off Third Booze Ban," 12 Dec. 2020 Last week, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to halt the practice of expelling underage migrants. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, "U.S. border officials close Texas warehouse where chain-link ‘cages’ for migrants became a symbol of mistreatment," 25 Nov. 2020 In Michigan, for example, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered bars and restaurants to halt all in-person dining. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "About 20,000 Virginians losing extended federal unemployment benefits this week," 20 Nov. 2020 Unlike last spring, when Gov. Kate Brown ordered hospitals to halt all elective procedures, this is a voluntary step. Jeff Manning, Anchorage Daily News, "Oregon hospitals curtail elective surgeries in anticipation of COVID surge," 12 Nov. 2020 Unlike last spring, when Gov. Kate Brown ordered hospitals to halt all elective procedures, this is a voluntary step. oregonlive, "Hospitals curtail elective surgeries in anticipation of COVID surge," 12 Nov. 2020 In early October, officials in Nevada ordered the state’s nursing homes to halt the use of two rapid coronavirus tests until further notice, citing concerns about accuracy. Katherine J. Wu, New York Times, "Why False Positives Merit Concern, Too," 25 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Minor posted its biggest quarterly loss in the three months ended June and has cut thousands of jobs to stay afloat after the pandemic ground to a halt global travel and tourism. Natnicha Chuwiruch, Bloomberg.com, "Tycoon Running 500 Hotels Warns of More Job Cuts, Closures," 9 Oct. 2020 In addition to full-time jobs for recent graduates, many spring and summer internships came to a halt mid-program or were canceled before the summer began due to the pandemic. Kaitlin Edquist, chicagotribune.com, "Class of 2020 college grads face a tough pandemic-era job market. Local colleges are trying to amp up job search support.," 4 Aug. 2020 In October, the Washington Department of Ecology ordered the company to keep its site clean and halt discharge of wastewater to storm drains. Scott Morris, ProPublica, "How a PG&E Contractor With a Sketchy Past Made Millions After California’s Deadliest Fire," 30 June 2010 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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Time Traveler for halt

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for halt

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Halt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halt. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for halt

Nglish: Translation of halt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of halt for Arabic Speakers

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