hold·​back | \ ˈhōl(d)-ˌbak How to pronounce holdback (audio) \

Definition of holdback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that retains or restrains
2a : the act of holding back
b : something held back

hold back

held back; holding back; holds back

Definition of hold back (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to hinder the progress or achievement of : restrain
b : to keep from advancing to the next stage, grade, or level
2 : to refrain from revealing or parting with held back important information

intransitive verb

1 : to keep oneself in check
2 : to refrain from revealing or parting with something

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Examples of holdback in a Sentence

Noun there'll be a holdback on production until the new machinery is fully installed the only holdback to starting the new job is my contractual commitment to my current position Verb the only thing holding Joe back from joining the swim team is lack of transportation held back her tears until she was alone
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But for now, teachers should continue moving forward with everything required under the law as if the holdback provision will be in place at the end of next school year. Trisha Powell Crain | Tcrain@al.com, al, 8 June 2021 Now, third graders in the 2021-22 school year will remain subject to a holdback provision. Trisha Powell Crain | Tcrain@al.com, al, 27 May 2021 In Mississippi, whose third-grade reading law Alabama’s was modeled after, the state board of education suspended the holdback provision for the current school year only according to a department of education spokesperson. Trisha Powell Crain | Tcrain@al.com, al, 20 May 2021 In the case of escrow, a holdback is created at closing, which means the seller does not receive all the funds. Robin Gagnon, Forbes, 11 May 2021 Typical issues are: The amount and length of the escrow holdback for indemnification claims. Gary Miller, The Denver Post, 27 Oct. 2019 The Connecticut Department of Education sent Canterbury town officials a letter saying that the additional holdback of $250,000 would incur a $500,000 Education Cost Sharing penalty. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, 3 Apr. 2018 Legislation is being discussed to do away with the penalty associated with cuts made after holdbacks were announced. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, 3 Apr. 2018 Negotiators from the House had agreed near the end of the regular session to lower the holdback to $100 million. Lsu Manship School News Service, NOLA.com, 13 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Video published by Storyful from the Capitol steps shows a man heaving a fire extinguisher from an elevated position toward a line of officers who were trying to hold back a mob of rioters. Rachel Axon, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2021 Signed by Real Salt Lake in 2018, Kreilach left Berlin with a warm departure after becoming a fan favorite — fans chanted his name and held a small ceremony as Kreilach failed to hold back tears. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Apr. 2021 After the 2007-09 recession Washington officials focused on reducing budget deficits, which seemed to hold back growth, and inflation was tame. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2021 That’s way up from January, when the number of permits issued collapsed to about 20% of normal levels after health officials and unions pressured productions to hold back filming. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2021 Gazing at her silently, Sabit fought to hold back tears. Raffi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2021 Senior guard Matt Coleman fought to hold back tears after the game. Dallas News, 20 Mar. 2021 She’s not someone conditioned to hold back for the sake of decorum. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 8 Mar. 2021 And finally, be honest during your reading and don’t try to hold back or trick the psychic. Norcal Marketing, Chron, 28 Jan. 2021

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


1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for holdback

Time Traveler

The first known use of holdback was in 1535

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Statistics for holdback

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Holdback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdback. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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