holdback

noun
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

verb
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

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, "Canterbury Boards Battle Over Roof Replacement, Education Budget," 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, "Canterbury Boards Battle Over Roof Replacement, Education Budget," 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, "An LSU student's analysis of the Legislature's budget impasse," 13 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bolton reportedly was trying to hold back Trump from leaping into a peace agreement with the Taliban, and his pressure was said to be behind the scrapping of a meeting at Camp David to announce the deal. Ron Kampeas, sun-sentinel.com, "What does John Bolton’s departure mean for Israel?," 11 Sep. 2019 Al-Falih organized an agreement between OPEC and other major oil producers such as Russia to hold back production. Matt Egan, CNN, "Saudi Arabia is in a rush to boost oil prices ahead of record-setting Aramco IPO," 9 Sep. 2019 There was something pure about my fandom, an unabashed teen longing that didn’t know to hold back. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Superfans: A Love Story," 9 Sep. 2019 Erdogan hopes to find common ground with Putin before hosting Russian and Iranian leaders in Ankara on Sept. 16 to discuss ways to hold back the Syrian army. Time, "Russia Is Trying to Sell Turkey Its Own Stealthy New Fighter After U.S. Revoked Access to F-35," 27 Aug. 2019 That hints at how underlying problems of poverty and poor educational attainment continue to hold back Detroit. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit can't cherry-pick statistics, ignore inconvenient facts," 21 Aug. 2019 From 1804 to 1814, the Napoleonic Wars raged, as Britain, Prussia, Austria, and Russia all fought to hold back the fiery emperor of France. National Geographic, "Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo—here’s what went wrong," 15 Aug. 2019 After extensive flooding in 2011, Iowa launched a unique program that lets local governments keep a portion of their growth in state sales tax revenue to help finance levees, floodwalls other projects designed to hold back rising waters. David Lieb, Twin Cities, "States boosting flood prevention as damage costs soar. MN is a model.," 11 Aug. 2019 Then there are other ethical questions like how devices would determine the difference between the speech a person wants to make known versus speech a person may want to hold back. Fortune, "Facebook Is Working on Sci-Fi Tech That Would Let Users Type With Their Minds," 30 July 2019

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

Noun

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for holdback

The first known use of holdback was in 1535

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holdback

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for holdback

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