hold·​out | \ ˈhōld-ˌau̇t How to pronounce holdout (audio) \

Definition of holdout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that holds out (as in negotiations) also : an instance of holding out

hold out

held out; holding out; holds out

Definition of hold out (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to remain unsubdued or unyielding where 30 of the … refugees were still holding out— Anna Tomforde also : to continue to function or be available : last prayed that the engine would hold out as long as our money holds out
2 : to refuse to go along with others in a concerted action or to come to an agreement holding out for a shorter workweek

transitive verb

1 : to present as something realizable : proffer
2 : to represent to be
hold out on
: to withhold something (such as information) from

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Synonyms & Antonyms for holdout

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of holdout in a Sentence

Noun He says he might be a holdout at the start of the next season if the team doesn't agree to pay him more. He is expected to end his three-week holdout and join the team tomorrow. A few holdouts still use typewriters, but nearly everybody uses computers now. Verb we hoped our supply of firewood would hold out until power was restored luckily, the old outboard motor held out till we made it to shore
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Tool recently ended its holdout on music streaming services, releasing all their studio albums to Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Tool plays first ever show at Heritage Bank Center tonight. What you need to know," 5 Nov. 2019 But after scoring twice and averaging 28 rushing yards in the four games following his holdout, Gordon responded with 80 yards and two TDs on Sunday. 31b. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from Week 9 of the 2019 NFL season," 4 Nov. 2019 Williams ended his holdout on Tuesday after the team did not trade him before the league’s trading deadline, despite changing its season-long stance by considering sending him to another team. Les Carpenter, The Denver Post, "Trent Williams reveals he had cancer, blames Redskins for not recognizing it sooner," 31 Oct. 2019 The Chargers couldn’t run the ball, and Melvin Gordon is averaging a paltry 2.5 yards per carry since returning from his unsuccessful holdout. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "NFL power rankings for Week 9: Bears plummet to No. 22, while a special defense keeps the Patriots locked at No. 1," 29 Oct. 2019 Shortly after the deadline passed, multiple reports surfaced, including those by the Washington Post, that Williams ended his holdout and reported to the Redskins. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Browns didn’t trade for Trent Williams or make other deals on Tuesday before the 4 p.m. deadline," 29 Oct. 2019 The Lynn-Whisenhunt-Rivers offensive braintrust once again overly trusted Gordon, who wasn’t Earl Campbell even before accumulating rust during his nine-week holdout. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: If this is Rivers’ last season, what a frustrating one," 20 Oct. 2019 The Packers’ running back was so impressive that after the game, the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott congratulated him and offered advice on planning his first contract holdout. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop NFL Picks: Week 6," 9 Oct. 2019 The news comes just 24 hours after Gordon ended his 64-day holdout and reported to the Chargers' facility. Jake May, SI.com, "Anthony Lynn Says Melvin Gordon Could Play in Limited Role on Sunday," 27 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cornerback Pierre Desir, who has been battling a hamstring injury all season but was able to play last week despite not practicing, will be held out of the game against Denver due to the injury. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Quincy Wilson, Deon Cain healthy scratches for Colts, Pierre Desir also out," 27 Oct. 2019 But some hawks hold out hope that Ms Lagarde might change the bank’s policy. The Economist, "Germans have mixed feelings about Christine Lagarde," 26 Oct. 2019 At least seven other players will be held out of the finale, including Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis and Kemba Walker. ... Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics, preseason game No. 4 preview and listings," 15 Oct. 2019 Kicker Will Reichard is being held out of practice this week with his hip flexor injury but will return Monday. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "What Nick Saban said Wednesday during Alabama’s open week," 2 Oct. 2019 Setting the scene: A report from consultancy EY released this week observed weakness in the IPO market this quarter as issuers hold out for better conditions. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "The IPO doldrums are setting in," 27 Sep. 2019 Every offensive and defensive starter and several key reserves will be held out of Saturday night’s preseason game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "4 things we learned at Bears practice, including Anthony Miller’s development hitting a speed bump and an anniversary for Roquan Smith," 21 Aug. 2019 With most starters expected to be held out of Saturday’s preseason opener, this week’s joint practices allowed the Raiders to gauge a defense with five projected new starters against one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders’ defense appears much improved to Rams’ Sean McVay," 8 Aug. 2019 The 21-year-old founder reportedly may have been in talks with various bidders in the past, according to sources who previously spoke to WWD in May, though perhaps she's been holding out for the perfect match to pull the plug. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Is Considering Selling Kylie Cosmetics, Says Report," 24 June 2019

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


1908, in the meaning defined above


circa 1556, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Statistics for holdout

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for holdout

The first known use of holdout was circa 1556

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More Definitions for holdout


How to pronounce hold out (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of holdout

: a person who refuses to reach an agreement until certain terms are met : a person who holds out
: an act of holding out for something
: a person who continues to do or use something after others have stopped doing or using it

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holdout

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