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

held back; holding back; holds back

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

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 But for now, teachers should continue moving forward with everything required under the law as if the holdback provision will be in place at the end of next school year. Trisha Powell Crain | Tcrain@al.com, al, 8 June 2021 Now, third graders in the 2021-22 school year will remain subject to a holdback provision. Trisha Powell Crain | Tcrain@al.com, al, 27 May 2021 In Mississippi, whose third-grade reading law Alabama’s was modeled after, the state board of education suspended the holdback provision for the current school year only according to a department of education spokesperson. Trisha Powell Crain | Tcrain@al.com, al, 20 May 2021 In the case of escrow, a holdback is created at closing, which means the seller does not receive all the funds. Robin Gagnon, Forbes, 11 May 2021 Typical issues are: The amount and length of the escrow holdback for indemnification claims. Gary Miller, The Denver Post, 27 Oct. 2019 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, 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, 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, 13 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb However, the potential for churn after the games ended may have led to the decision to hold back on subscriber numbers. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Jan. 2022 Alabama officials are mulling delaying for another two years the decision to hold back thousands of elementary students who are not reading on grade level. al, 20 Oct. 2021 Since taking office, Bolsonaro has encouraged development within the Amazon and dismissed global complaints about its destruction as a plot to hold back Brazil's agribusiness. Mike Corder, ajc, 12 Oct. 2021 Since taking office, Mr. Bolsonaro has encouraged development within the Amazon and dismissed global complaints about its destruction as a plot to hold back Brazil’s agribusiness. Mike Corder, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Oct. 2021 Many of the firms on the list are a familiar feature at conferences about purpose and social good, never mentioning their campaigns to hold back climate regulation or build support for ‘clean coal’ and new pipelines. Solitaire Townsend, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 This spring, the Capitol Police inspector general told Congress that an order to hold back heavy riot-control weapons left the department at a grave disadvantage fighting the mob. Jessica Schneider, CNN, 17 Sep. 2021 In Kyuerelyakh, Kirillovich and Nikolaevna lost their croplands to the fires despite their best efforts to hold back the flames, leaving them with only a few bales of hay to feed their 26 cattle through the coming winter. Time, 26 Aug. 2021 Still, Gambhir says, the evidence suggests that price shouldn’t be an excuse to hold back on policies and regulations that encourage electric utilities and major power consumers to shift to renewables. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, 21 Aug. 2021

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


1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for holdback

Time Traveler

The first known use of holdback was in 1535

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Dictionary Entries Near holdback

hold away


hold back

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Cite this Entry

“Holdback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdback. Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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