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 bank said customers held off on business when markets turned volatile last year, hitting revenue in its global markets business and retail-banking and wealth-management units. Margot Patrick, WSJ, "HSBC’s Profit Misses Analysts’ Expectations," 19 Feb. 2019 Further protests took place in some former opposition areas recaptured by the government after authorities moved to enforce military conscription there despite promises to hold off. Sarah El Deeb, The Seattle Times, "Syria’s Assad: Last man standing amid new Arab uprisings," 13 Apr. 2019 The rain held off until the San Felipe, the sixth race, and then by the end of that race, as fans endured a way-too-long inquiry, the rain picked up and never subsided. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Racing! Exciting San Felipe does little to clarify Kentucky Derby picture," 11 Mar. 2018 Argentina came here, needing only to win as long as Croatia, top of Group D and already through, did as expected and held off Iceland. Thomas Allnutt, chicagotribune.com, "Messi delivers as Argentina scrape through to World Cup's last 16," 26 June 2018 Evgeny Kuznetsov racked up four more points while Braden Holtby held off the Golden Knights to put the Capitals one win away from raising the Stanley Cup. Tyler Horka, SI.com, "Stanley Cup Final: Capitals Roll to Game 4 Win, 3-1 Series Lead Over Golden Knights," 4 June 2018 State and local regulators are warning dispensary owners against holding off-site parties or allowing on-site cannabis consumption Friday during the annual celebration known as 4/20. Brad Branan, sacbee, "Buzz kill? Sacramento's pot czar to make compliance inspections at local 4/20 events," 20 Apr. 2018 But the leader has largely held off on those measures, which are seen as politically risky. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "Venezuela’s Inflation Rate Surges Higher," 7 Nov. 2018 The team held off Les Bleus in the first half, but France took an early second-half lead off a penalty kick from Antoine Griezmann in the 58th minute. Julia Poe, SI.com, "How to Watch Denmark vs. Australia: World Cup Live Stream, TV Channel, Time," 21 June 2018

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

15 May 2019

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Time Traveler for hold off

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hold off

Comments on hold off

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a strong desire or propensity

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