\ 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
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 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced over the weekend the Senate would halt floor action over the next two weeks, meaning no votes will happen this week or next. Matt Egan, CNN, "Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis is another market-moving wild card," 5 Oct. 2020 Coke is also planning to halt retail-store sales of Hubert’s Lemonade, limiting the brand to fountain machines only, the spokeswoman said. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, "Coca-Cola to Discontinue Zico, May Drop Coke Life," 4 Oct. 2020 And other officials may also halt the early rollout of a questionable vaccine. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "Trump Is Encouraging Big Pharma’s Worst Instincts," 29 Sep. 2020 That support from Congress, along with unprecedented moves by the Fed to aid markets, helped halt the S&P 500′s nearly 34% plummet earlier this year. Stan Choe, USA TODAY, "US stocks mixed in early trading after 4-day losing streak," 22 Sep. 2020 That support from Congress, along with unprecedented moves by the Federal Reserve to aid markets, helped halt the S&P 500's nearly 34% plummet earlier this year. Arkansas Online, "Wall Street steadies itself after 4-day losing streak," 22 Sep. 2020 Borrowers have been able to pause mortgages, halt student loan payments and delay paying their tax bills, while millions of households have received an extra $600 weekly in unemployment benefits. New York Times, "Interest Rates Are Low, but Loans Are Harder to Get. Here’s Why.," 4 Aug. 2020 Intermittent protests against the government for failing to halt the financial free fall have served as a reminder of the potential for greater social unrest. Liz Sly, Washington Post, "Lebanon’s currency takes a new dive, and there is no end in sight," 26 June 2020 Google will halt election advertising after the polls officially close for the U.S. presidential election, a move designed to limit false messages about the outcome of the contest. Mark Bergen, Fortune, "Google to pause political ads on election day after polls close," 25 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The solemn Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which annually sees Israeli life grind to a halt, begins on Sunday in a nation already under a sweeping coronavirus lockdown. Bloomberg.com, "Israelis Mark Yom Kippur Under ‘Painful’ Virus Lockdown," 27 Sep. 2020 Although most non-essential services and most of the economy have come to a halt, the Customs and Border Protection and the Immigration Customs Enforcement agencies continue to detain and remove individuals and families. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Casa Cornelia executive director celebrates 25 years of making a difference for people seeking asylum," 26 Sep. 2020 Just as the George Floyd video sparked a movement, the wrong video could grind it to a halt. John Blake, CNN, "The election scenario that should terrify everyone -- especially Black America," 26 Sep. 2020 Unfortunately the government testing program, which is supposed to provide free tests to all who qualify and is the cornerstone of the country’s reopening plan, had ground to a halt. Amanda Taub, New York Times, "Pandemic Will ‘Take Our Women 10 Years Back’ in the Workplace," 26 Sep. 2020 The pandemic exploded among tribal communities and brought field operations, even beyond tribal lands, to a halt. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Can the Census Be Saved in Indian Country?," 25 Sep. 2020 Business lunches and dinners and large-scale events have ground to a halt. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Social distancing and lost revenues: Baltimore’s high-end restaurants do one pivot after another to avoid disaster," 25 Sep. 2020 But the pandemic hit and domestic and international travel ground to a halt. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "Rising from pandemic, the business success stories of tomorrow?," 25 Sep. 2020 Amid unprecedented border closures in the spring, due to public health restrictions, irregular migration to Europe virtually ground to a halt. Washington Post, "Economic fallout from coronavirus leads to surge in Tunisians leaving for Europe," 24 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Consequently, a spokesperson for Colorado athletics said that athletes would halt all workouts and practices for at least two weeks. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Pac-12 reverses course, opts to play shortened football season this fall," 24 Sep. 2020 The risk of confirming a Trump nominee, court-packing backlash that could halt conservative power for years, is less potent if Biden will not allow it. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Would institutionalist Biden cave to court-packing calls?," 21 Sep. 2020 The district was forced to halt classes for several days to address all of the issues. Joe Heim, Washington Post, "Computer hackers attack Fairfax County school system," 11 Sep. 2020 Osaka’s move prompted tournament organizers to halt action entirely for a day. Howard Fendrich, orlandosentinel.com, "Naomi Osaka wears mask in memory of Breonna Taylor at U.S. Open," 1 Sep. 2020 Osaka's move prompted tournament organizers to halt action entirely for a day. CBS News, "Naomi Osaka wears mask honoring Breonna Taylor at U.S. Open. She hopes to wear 6 more with different names.," 1 Sep. 2020 Later Wednesday night, the United States Tennis Association said tournament officials agreed to halt all play for Thursday. Marc Stein, New York Times, "Led by N.B.A., Boycotts Disrupt Pro Sports in Wake of Blake Shooting," 26 Aug. 2020 Quibi explained part of the drop off was due to a decision to halt its marketing and release of new shows for a week in June, in light of the protests after the death of George Floyd. Wendy Lee Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Quibi wins round in mobile technology fight with rival," 13 July 2020 So some Dallas-area schools were already planning to halt workouts for a week starting Friday. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "UIL urges schools to consider halting summer workouts from Friday through July 12," 2 July 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

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Halt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halt. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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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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