hold off

held off; holding off; holds off

Definition of hold off

transitive verb

1 : to block from an objective : delay
2 : to defer action on : postpone hold off a decision
3 : to fight to a standoff : withstand

intransitive verb

: to defer or temporarily stop doing something

Examples of hold off in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Lions held off South Carroll (31-37) to take the girls Small Schools title. baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll Varsity Roundup (Sept. 7): Liberty field hockey goes 2-0 at Marriotts Ridge tourney," 8 Sep. 2019 Most of the storm effects in southeast Virginia should hold off until Friday morning. Jason Samenow, Anchorage Daily News, "Hurricane Dorian poised to slam the Carolinas after scraping by the coasts of Florida and Georgia," 4 Sep. 2019 Halas then held off aggressive offers from the AFL’s Broncos for Butkus and Chiefs for Sayers. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 4, Gale Sayers," 1 Sep. 2019 But if there's any question about the nature of the recipient, maybe just hold off. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "What You Should Know Before Sending Nudes," 22 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, the town is holding off on providing replacements until the hype dies down. Raisa Bruner, Time, "'Old Town Road' Signs Keep Getting Stolen. Here's How This Quaint College Town Is Dealing With the Thefts.," 15 Aug. 2019 Retailers also could hold off on hiking their prices until after the critical holiday shopping season. Rachel Layne, CBS News, "5 things to consider buying before new U.S. tariffs on China kick in Sept. 1," 9 Aug. 2019 Others may be holding off from breaking ground in the hope that the policy is scrapped. The Economist, "St Ives’s second-home crackdown has unintended consequences," 18 July 2019 Officials can hold off on issuing a citation if the complainant and the dog owner agree that the situation is improving and want to give it more time to be resolved. Paulina Pineda, azcentral, "Barking dogs keeping you up at night? Tempe could make it easier to cite dog owners," 13 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hold off.' 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 hold off

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for hold off

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for hold off

The first known use of hold off was in the 15th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on hold off

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hold off

Comments on hold off

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to spread as a report or rumor

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