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

held up; holding up; holds up

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The holdup happened on Friday, March 25, in the 700 block of Valley Avenue in Birmingham. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 14 Apr. 2022 The letter requests an update on the holdup and confirmed that disaster recovery and cleanup is on hold until FEMA acts. al, 24 Nov. 2020 The holdup has frustrated Democrats, who have warned of dwindling U.S. stockpiles of vaccines and therapeutic drugs as the BA. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2022 Our coverage caught the eye of City Councilman Jason Dozier, who asked Chief Procurement Officer Martin Clarke last week to explain why the holdup occurred in the first place. Wilborn Nobles, ajc, 4 Apr. 2022 Reynolds, who also confessed to the holdup and an earlier armed robbery of an elderly woman, Anita Chamberlin, at the Community Center, would go on to be sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery and aggravated robbery. John Lynch, Arkansas Online, 23 Mar. 2022 Detectives from the San Diego Police Department’s robbery unit were investigating the holdup, Buttle said. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Mar. 2022 Police recognized Lambert from the video, and he was arrested after admitting to participating in the holdup with his friend, 16-year-old Kris Reynolds, whom authorities said had been released from juvenile custody four months earlier. John Lynch, Arkansas Online, 23 Mar. 2022 The only holdup is the artwork that will be paired with the album, according to Quintanilla. Christopher Brito, CBS News, 15 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The 6-6, 321-pounder has promising traits and shows flashes of NFL-caliber work to hold up against speed rushers in the NFL. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 30 Apr. 2022 If natural-gas prices hold up, EQT can expect to see more upside next year, when its hedged position declines to 45%. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2022 Leray’s passion is thrilling to listen to, even when many of her songs don’t hold up to scrutiny. Mosi Reeves, Rolling Stone, 8 Apr. 2022 The authors suggest that, if the findings do hold up in humans, there would be no need or advantage to switching to an omicron-specific booster for now. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 7 Feb. 2022 At a recent evening rally in the dirt parking lot of the union hall, all of the miners who are veterans or have relatives in the military were asked to come forward and hold up their hands. New York Times, 2 Apr. 2022 Both of these materials are rust-resistant and hold up well outdoors, even through bouts of inclement weather. Rachel Center, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Mar. 2022 The infant can sit with support, hold up his head and chest, and roll over from front to back. Janet Barber, Scientific American, 9 Nov. 2021 The department has signed a contract with an auctioneer to hold up to two car auctions a month to further reduce the number of cars there. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, 8 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of holdup


1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1851, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Dictionary Entries Near holdup

hold true


hold up

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Statistics for holdup

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Holdup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdup. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for holdup


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?



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

More from Merriam-Webster on holdup

Nglish: Translation of holdup for Spanish Speakers


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