holdback

noun
hold·​back | \ ˈhōl(d)-ˌbak How to pronounce holdback (audio) \

Definition of holdback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that retains or restrains
2a : the act of holding back
b : something held back

hold back

verb

Definition of hold back (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to hinder the progress or achievement of : restrain
b : to keep from advancing to the next stage, grade, or level
2 : to refrain from revealing or parting with held back important information

intransitive verb

1 : to keep oneself in check
2 : to refrain from revealing or parting with something

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Examples of holdback in a Sentence

Noun

there'll be a holdback on production until the new machinery is fully installed the only holdback to starting the new job is my contractual commitment to my current position

Verb

the only thing holding Joe back from joining the swim team is lack of transportation held back her tears until she was alone
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Connecticut Department of Education sent Canterbury town officials a letter saying that the additional holdback of $250,000 would incur a $500,000 Education Cost Sharing penalty. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Canterbury Boards Battle Over Roof Replacement, Education Budget," 3 Apr. 2018 Legislation is being discussed to do away with the penalty associated with cuts made after holdbacks were announced. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Canterbury Boards Battle Over Roof Replacement, Education Budget," 3 Apr. 2018 Negotiators from the House had agreed near the end of the regular session to lower the holdback to $100 million. Lsu Manship School News Service, NOLA.com, "An LSU student's analysis of the Legislature's budget impasse," 13 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That’s because for almost all the history of AI, we’ve been held back in large part by not having enough computing power to realize our ideas fully. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "The case for taking AI seriously as a threat to humanity," 21 Dec. 2018 The men are promoted, while the women are held back. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Acting like a psychopath is great for male CEOs, not so much for women," 26 Oct. 2018 This was, of course, something Trump had long promised to do, but he was held back by cooler heads in his administration for more than a year. Chas Danner, Daily Intelligencer, "Beyond Russia: Understanding the New Trump Campaign Collusion Story," 20 May 2018 Twitter also held back this year, releasing only a 30-second animated clip that revealed just five data points. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The internet is a monoculture built on ads and Drake," 20 Dec. 2018 Some critics argue that even such low interest rates may be too high because growth and inflation are being held back by shortfall in demand due to low productivity growth and an aging population. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Trump’s Volatility Only Adds to Stock-Market Selling Pressure," 26 Dec. 2018 The agency also let Pfizer distribute some glass syringes prefilled with opioids that were held back because of possible particle contamination and cracks in stoppers. Linda A. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "The other opioid crisis: Hospitals grapple with prolonged injected opioid shortage," 28 June 2018 Apparently the kid is a remarkable writer and literary analyst, but was held back the previous year for allegedly plagiarizing a paper. refinery29.com, "The Affair Season 4, Episode 1 Recap: You're The Earthquake I've Been Waiting On," 18 June 2018 Last spring, 20 students were held back, district spokesman Nick Alajakis said. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Waukegan District 60 approves new retention policy around when students should get held back," 15 June 2018

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

Noun

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for holdback

The first known use of holdback was in 1535

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holdback

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for holdback

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