holdup

noun
hold·​up | \ ˈhōld-ˌəp How to pronounce holdup (audio) \

Definition of holdup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : delay
2 : a robbery carried out at gunpoint

hold up

verb

Definition of hold up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to rob at gunpoint
2 : delay, impede
3 : to call attention to : single out his work was held up to ridicule hold this up as perfectionThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

intransitive verb

: to continue in the same condition without failing or losing effectiveness or force she's holding up under the strain music that holds up twenty years later

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of holdup in a Sentence

Noun

There have been a series of holdups at local banks. a holdup in construction due to the weather

Verb

held up mail delivery until we had a permanent address traffic was held up for miles by the accident
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That understanding, shared widely by economists and policy makers, saw the automobile industry as the cause of the slowdown, with holdups in certifying model types for compliance with new emission standards holding back output. Paul Hannon, WSJ, "Eurozone Economy Grew More Slowly Than Previously Estimated," 7 Dec. 2018 Barnett was a 25-year-old who was identified as a robbery suspect moments after a Taco Bell holdup in 1990. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Aaron Bailey family receives $650,000 settlement from Indianapolis," 26 June 2018 In both of the holdups that occurred on Jan. 2, police said, two suspects were arrested by responding officers. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Teenager charged in robberies at four businesses in DC, police say," 24 Jan. 2018 Another potential holdup: At this fraught political moment for Big Tech, buying an asset like Discord could suddenly put the owner’s brand in jeopardy. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Who could buy Discord? Acquirers have been giving the gaming startup a long look.," 21 Nov. 2018 If the holdup is by the heater core, then that’s one reason why hot air isn’t blowing. Zachary Palmer, Popular Mechanics, "How To Fix Your Car's Heater," 6 Sep. 2018 The last holdup right now is to bring the pipeline ashore in Italy. Fox News, "Rep. Ed Royce on US relations with Russia, Turkey and Iran; Rep. Devin Nunes on Bruce Ohr and the push to declassify DOJ documents," 12 Aug. 2018 The biggest holdup to direct action on climate is showing that preventing these changes would be cheaper than enduring them (after factoring in scientific uncertainty). Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Climate Change Is Affordable," 27 Nov. 2018 Deputies were dispatched to the Forestdale Boulevard store on a report of a holdup. Carol Robinson, AL.com, "2 ex-cons arrested after botched theft, assault at Family Dollar," 30 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After 20 years, some elements of the story no longer hold up—a modern reboot would likely feature the girls banding together to block Sebastian’s toxic masculinity instead of falling for his charms—but the clothes are still perfection. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Cruel Intentions Is Still a Teenage Fashion Dream 20 Years On," 22 Mar. 2019 While the relationship between declining unemployment and rising wages has held up in recent years, the relationship between declining unemployment and rising prices has been very weak. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Economists’ Advice to Fed: Look at Rising Prices and Tight Labor Market," 22 Feb. 2019 As an immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Okoumou wanted to do more than just hold up a sign. Essence.com, "Statue of Liberty Climber Patricia Okoumou Was Worried Police Were Going to Shoot Her," 10 July 2018 Isenberg notes that, over generations, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and then John Adams have been held up periodically as darling patriotic heroes. Mark Kennedy, The Seattle Times, "Historians irked by musical ‘Hamilton’ escalate their duel," 4 Feb. 2019 When temperatures drop below freezing, homes struggle to hold up in a number of ways. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Buying Exterior Doors," 19 Feb. 2019 Using your forearms to hold up your torso, move your arms so that the roller rolls from the side of your knee to the side of your hip. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why This Holiday Break Is a Perfect Time to Start Foam-Rolling," 28 Dec. 2018 Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, and Laura Dern—holding up signs as if in a police lineup during (presumably) the same night of Perry's death. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Watch the 'Big Little Lies' Season 2 Trailer That Premiered During the Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 The house, which was considered a radical vision of family living at the time, holds up as a timeless piece of architecture that’s now closer to Breuer’s original vision. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Marcel Breuer’s 1950 Lauck House restored to its original glory," 21 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holdup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of holdup

Noun

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1851, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about holdup

Statistics for holdup

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for holdup

The first known use of holdup was in 1837

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for holdup

holdup

noun

English Language Learners Definition of holdup

: a usually brief delay
: a robbery that is done using a gun

holdup

noun
hold·​up | \ ˈhōld-ˌəp How to pronounce holdup (audio) \

Kids Definition of holdup

1 : robbery by an armed robber
2 : delay entry 1 Why aren't we moving? What's the holdup?

holdup

noun
hold·​up

Legal Definition of holdup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an attempted or completed robbery carried out with the use of force and especially at gunpoint

hold up

transitive verb

Legal Definition of hold up (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make the victim of a holdup : rob at gunpoint

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on holdup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holdup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for holdup

Spanish Central: Translation of holdup

Nglish: Translation of holdup for Spanish Speakers

Comments on holdup

What made you want to look up holdup? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!