hold·​over | \ ˈhōld-ˌō-vər How to pronounce holdover (audio) \

Definition of holdover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that is held over

hold over

held over; holding over; holds over

Definition of hold over (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to continue (as in office) for a prolonged period

transitive verb

1a : postpone, defer
b : to retain in a condition or position from an earlier period
2 : to prolong the engagement of the film was held over another week

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Examples of holdover in a Sentence


He is the only holdover from their last championship team. This policy is a holdover from the previous administration.


the golf tournament had to be held over until the line of thunderstorms had passed through
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everything disappointing about the Valve Index feels like a holdover from the industry's past. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: Is Valve Index the best virtual reality system to buy in 2019?," 28 June 2019 Tom Saladino, a retired AP sports writer who worked alongside Shearer for more than 30 years in Atlanta, also remembered Shearer’s legendary iron stomach, undoubtedly a holdover from his upbringing in Louisiana and the requisite love of spicy food. Washington Post, "Longtime AP sports writer Ed Shearer dies at 82," 24 June 2019 Such views echo those of reform advocates and legal scholars, who say split-jury verdicts are a holdover to an era when discrimination toward racial and religious minorities was endemic to public life. oregonlive.com, "Oregon House unanimously moves to scrap state’s nonunanimous jury system," 20 June 2019 Plumlee is a one-year holdover and the Nuggets’ pick adds to the New York’s 2021 war chest, which also includes a Dallas pick. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "Five NBA Draft-Day Trades That Should Happen," 20 June 2019 The two products were part of Sanofi’s cell therapy and regenerative medicine business unit, a holdover from Sanofi’s 2011 acquisition of Genzyme for $20.1 billion. Jonathan Saltzman, BostonGlobe.com, "Fast-growing Vericel finds success on two fronts: knee surgery and burn care," 11 June 2019 The schism between the atmospheric and life sciences that Swann encountered was a holdover from the late 1800s, when the U.S. government proclaimed that planting crops and trees would turn the arid Great Plains wet. Quanta Magazine, "Forests Emerge as a Major Overlooked Climate Factor," 9 Oct. 2018 Kinane’s figures include holdovers from previous administrations, some of whom serve for just days. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump tells chief of staff to leave during an interview after aide coughs," 18 June 2019 Other holdovers are seldom-used forward Bul Ajang, center Buay Koka, guard Grant Quinn and guard Cameron Galic. Christopher Dabe, nola.com, "Tulane officially announces new-look basketball roster with 8 newcomers," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Out of AT&T’s carcass—IBM didn't die, AT&T didn't die, but they were diminished, their hold over the industry was broken. Nicholas Thompson, WIRED, "Tim Wu Explains Why He Thinks Facebook Should Be Broken Up," 5 July 2019 Unicef has held over 14,000 meetings at schools, churches, mosques, markets, taxi stands, bus stops and even funerals to discuss Ebola prevention and the need to seek care as soon as symptoms appear. New York Times, "For the Third Time, W.H.O. Declines to Declare the Ebola Outbreak an Emergency," 14 June 2019 The video game industry relinquished its hold over downtown Los Angeles on Friday as the E3 convention drew to a close. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, "E3 2019: The Best of the Convention," 14 June 2019 Her round face has chipmunk cheeks, and the racquet held over her shoulder is four or five times the size of her head. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "More People Should Know the Name of Ashleigh Barty, the New French Open Champion," 8 June 2019 With the crown in place, Henry VII hoped to seal his hold over England by uniting his house with that of his enemies from the war, the House of York. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Cause of Prince Arthur Tudor's Death Remains a Medical Mystery," 13 May 2019 After 1967, Israel built a ring of settlement neighborhoods in east Jerusalem to deepen its hold over the annexed area, where 207,000 Jews now live. Washington Post, "Jerusalem, new home of US Embassy, at core of Mideast strife," 13 May 2018 Lasso is Facebook’s latest bid to win over teens, which the large social media platform has lost its hold over. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Facebook quietly launches a TikTok competitor app called Lasso," 9 Nov. 2018 Apple alone holds over $150 billion in the bonds, exceeding even the world’s biggest debt funds. Bloomberg.com, "Beware the $500 Billion Bond Exodus," 17 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holdover.' 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 holdover


1893, in the meaning defined above


1647, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Statistics for holdover

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for holdover

The first known use of holdover was in 1647

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More Definitions for holdover



English Language Learners Definition of holdover

US : someone or something that remains or is kept from an earlier time

hold over

intransitive verb

Legal Definition of hold over

: to remain in a position or condition one who holds over in possession of a building after the expiration of a term of years— B. N. Cardozo

Other Words from holdover

holdover noun

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holdover

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