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

Noun He is the only holdover from their last championship team. This policy is a holdover from the previous administration. Verb 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 There was one holdover from pre-pandemic times: the beverage station. Washington Post, 16 July 2021 And one significant holdover from those years — a fried mushroom appetizer ($7 for a small order, $11 for large) — remains intact. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 1 June 2021 One holdover, sophomore Jaxon Brenchley, could be in play, and Holt had some point guard experience at Coffeyville, but finding at least one more option seems necessary. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 May 2021 One of those seven players with an OPS over .800 — Robert Neustrom — was a holdover from the last regime. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, 28 Sep. 2021 Unlike the Grammys, the CMAs allow young artists to compete for new artist of the year more than once, so Barrett is a holdover from last year in that category, as are Ingrid Andress and Jimmie Allen. Chris Willman, Variety, 9 Sep. 2021 While the company tried to use her promotion to signal a break with the past, many saw her as a holdover from the previous era and accused her of being involved with its efforts to silence accusers. NBC News, 30 June 2021 The only holdover from Bruce Bochy’s staff since Gabe Kapler became manager in 2020, Wotus will remain with the club with an as-yet unspecified job in baseball operations. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 Aug. 2021 This week, Zalmay Khalilzad, Biden’s special representative (a Trump-era holdover from the Taliban negotiations, as well as George Bush’s ambassador to Afghanistan), delivered the group a warning in Doha. The Editors, National Review, 11 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Their hold over the group’s central-bank reserves and international aid remain powerful leverage. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, 16 Oct. 2021 Blanchflower and Bryson’s results hold over a long historical period, giving them additional confidence in the prognosis. Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Analysts have highlighted the power oil-rich economies hold over the current energy crisis, though the producer alliance opted at its most recent meeting not to relax oil output curbs by more than previously planned. David Hodari, WSJ, 13 Oct. 2021 But as Beijing continues to enhance its controls on online speech, especially ahead of the Party’s celebrations of the 100th anniversary of its founding next month, the fan clubs’ hold over their members is looking increasingly like a problem. Jane Li, Quartz, 15 June 2021 Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was censured at the Georgia GOP convention Saturday, demonstrating former President Donald Trump's hold over members of the Georgia Republican Party. Rachel Janfaza, CNN, 5 June 2021 Cheney's ouster further signals Mr. Trump's hold over the GOP and served as a warning to Republicans about the pitfalls of criticizing him, even though he's been out of office for four months. CBS News, 12 May 2021 Its hold over three of the world’s social communications market meant several alternatives that users would normally turn to were out of commission. Abby Vesoulis, Time, 8 Oct. 2021 Shaquille O'Neal now has another thing to hold over his NBA on TNT friend, and sometimes foe, Charles Barkley. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 8 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for holdover

Time Traveler

The first known use of holdover was in 1647

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Dictionary Entries Near holdover

hold out for


hold over

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Last Updated

24 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Holdover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdover. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for holdover



English Language Learners Definition of holdover

: 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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