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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The deal likely means Simmons will end his year-long holdout and play for the Nets soon, giving them defensive bona fides. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Feb. 2022 No criticism, not even subtle, even though his holdout threatened to be a major problem. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Nov. 2021 Simmons ended his holdout midway through the preseason and reported to the team but has not played. New York Times, 18 Oct. 2021 Kyrie Irving, however, reportedly won’t be offered an $186-million extension due to his Covid-19 vaccine holdout. Adam Zagoria, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Anti-Taliban uprising forces on Thursday in Panjshir province, their last major holdout. NBC News, 3 Sep. 2021 Taliban fighters took control of several strategic districts in the northern Panjshir Valley, amid heavy fighting from resistance fighters in their last holdout against group. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2021 The nearly 50-page bill passed the Texas House on a 79-37 mostly party-line vote, moving quickly a week after Democrats ended their holdout. Arkansas Online, 28 Aug. 2021 The nearly 50-page bill passed the Texas House on a 79-37 mostly party-line vote, moving fast a week after Democrats ended their holdout. BostonGlobe.com, 27 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The fight to pass the Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act in South Carolina is now intensifying, as several Republican state senators hold out against it. Briana Stewart, ABC News, 28 Apr. 2022 Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted victory in the battle for Mariupol Thursday, even as hundreds of Ukrainian troops hold out in and around the Azovstal plant. Editors, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 That likely won’t be the peak, either, if current trends hold out. Brett Owens, Forbes, 17 Apr. 2022 Unlike the case with nuclear arms, where atomic rivals hold out the possibility of responding in kind, the West has renounced use of the deadly poisons. New York Times, 4 May 2022 Thanks in part to government pandemic-response efforts, savings rates are way up over the past two years, giving some chunk of the potential workforce more time to hold out for the right offer. Rob Walker, Fortune, 1 Dec. 2021 The city is the largest in South Florida to hold out on getting the devices. Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, 17 Nov. 2021 Shortly after the Kabul takeover, Baradar had been the first senior Taliban official to hold out the possibility of an inclusive government, but such hopes were disappointed with the formation of an all-male, all-Taliban lineup last week. Arkansas Online, 17 Sep. 2021 Apple’s decision to hold out, reportedly for commercial reasons, has been bad news for its users—it’s not in their interests. Zak Doffman, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

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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Dictionary Entries Near holdout

hold one's nose


hold out

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Statistics for holdout

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Holdout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdout. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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