hold 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

Some showers could move into southwestern portions of the state late in the day, but most should hold off until tonight. Gary Lessor, courant.com, "Rain Possible Wednesday, But Will Clear Out By Thursday, First Day Of Summer," 19 June 2018 In December, Samarco obtained permits to use the Alegria Sul pit for depositing waste, but has held off preparatory work until settling with prosecutors. Paula Sambo, Bloomberg.com, "Samarco Is Close to a Settlement With Brazil Prosecutors," 14 June 2018 Although a deal to bring Leno to the Emirates is believed to be very close, announcing the signing could be held off until July. SI.com, "Arsenal Edge Closer to Bernd Leno Signing With €25m Leverkusen Deal Close to Completion," 13 June 2018 Investors largely had been betting the European Central Bank would hold off until July on making a decision on tapering its €30 billion ($35 billion)-a-month bond-buying program. Orla Mccaffrey, WSJ, "U.S. Treasury Prices Follow European Debt Lower," 6 June 2018 After beating Texas by an average of 30 points in the previous four seasons, the Frogs have to hold off the Horns late in front of 100,000 fans at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Purple crystal ball: game-by-game prediction for TCU's 2018 football season," 4 June 2018 Truex took advantage of the clean air a front-runner gets to hold off Kyle Larson and Busch and Harvick. John Smallwood, Philly.com, "Martin Truex Jr. chooses clean air over fresh tires to win Pocono 400," 3 June 2018 The rain held off until after the event, but organizers decided to move the date to June this year. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Katy group organizes fundraiser to benefit veterans," 29 May 2018 Songbirds are quite adaptable in their choice of food sources and appear able to hold off breeding until conditions warrant. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "It’s still winter in the Alaska Range, which is both good and bad," 13 May 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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Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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

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one that holds something together

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