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 entry 1 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 While the fur industry faces tough times, in general, Swabe predicts that Denmark will be the last holdout. Jack Guy, CNN, "Coronavirus could drive the last nail into the mink fur trade," 18 Oct. 2020 Not until 1973, after Mississippi finally began licensing its osteopaths, did the last holdout in the United States finally recognize them as physicians. Eleanor Cummins, The Atlantic, "Trump’s Doctor Comes From a Uniquely American Brand of Medicine," 6 Oct. 2020 But Mississippi has been a holdout for years in displaying the emblem in the upper-left corner of its banner. Emily Wagster Pettus, The Denver Post, "Mississippi faces reckoning on Confederate emblem in flag," 13 June 2020 But there was one holdout in terms of offering its catalog in UltraHD: Disney. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Disney, Marvel, and Pixar movies now available in 4K HDR on Apple TV and iTunes," 5 Oct. 2020 Only now half the franchises are closed; long lines snake to every holdout. Richard Brookhiser, National Review, "One Gate to the City," 17 Sep. 2020 Now that every other P5 league is playing again, does anyone figure the Pac-12 will be the lone holdout? Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Utah is ‘absolutely’ ready to play some football when the green light comes," 19 Sep. 2020 China’s economic recovery accelerated in August, with retail sales, the last holdout among the economy’s major components, returning to pre-coronavirus levels by showing their first month of growth this year. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "China’s Economy Picks Up Speed as Shoppers, Moviegoers Return," 15 Sep. 2020 The Vikings' plan, according to coach Mike Zimmer, was easing Ngakoue into game action since the 25-year-old Pro Bowler did not practice this offseason until Sept. 3 following his holdout from Jaguars training camp. Andrew Krammer, Star Tribune, "Yannick Ngakoue has quiet debut with Vikings," 13 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb McConnell made the argument Tuesday that some deal is better than none, saying Democrats are ignoring areas of bipartisan agreement to hold out for a bill that includes measures unrelated to the virus response. Billy House, Bloomberg.com, "Trump, Republicans Divided on Stimulus as Pelosi Demands Revamp," 13 Oct. 2020 But sellers, not wanting to take a loss, often hold out for months or even years, before grudgingly starting to accept lower bids. Christopher Flavelle, New York Times, "Florida Sees Signals of a Climate-Driven Housing Crisis," 12 Oct. 2020 When Lawrence falls off the wire, his readers, white-knuckled, hold out for the next sentence, at which point the tension begins again. Frances Wilson, The New Yorker, "The D. H. Lawrence We Forgot," 8 Oct. 2020 Pelosi has signaled her rejection of the Problem Solvers Caucus's proposal and seems content to hold out for the $2 trillion plan. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Pelosi under increasing pressure to cut coronavirus deal," 17 Sep. 2020 Cook skipped the end of the team’s virtual offseason program in June, as his agent, Zac Hiller, suggested Cook could hold out at the start of training camp without a new deal. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Dalvin Cook, Vikings agree to five-year contract extension," 13 Sep. 2020 Nancy Pelosi have urged Democrats to hold out for a more holistic relief package. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Why lawmakers may choose a more targeted approach for the second round of COVID stimulus," 16 Sep. 2020 Kamara has never threatened to hold out and has been in the building every day. Luke Johnson, NOLA.com, "What's the latest between Alvin Kamara and the Saints? Depends who you ask," 1 Sep. 2020 Over the past few months, the company has continued to hold out the app as a safe and reliable way for activists to communicate in large gatherings. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Bridgefy, the messenger promoted for mass protests, is a privacy disaster," 24 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for holdout

Time Traveler

The first known use of holdout was circa 1556

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Statistics for holdout

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Holdout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdout. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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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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