hold·​out | \ ˈhōld-ˌau̇t How to pronounce holdout (audio) \

Definition of holdout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that holds out (as in negotiations) also : an instance of holding out

hold out

held out; holding out; holds out

Definition of hold out (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to remain unsubdued or unyielding where 30 of the … refugees were still holding out— Anna Tomforde also : to continue to function or be available : last entry 1 prayed that the engine would hold out as long as our money holds out
2 : to refuse to go along with others in a concerted action or to come to an agreement holding out for a shorter workweek

transitive verb

1 : to present as something realizable : proffer
2 : to represent to be
hold out on
: to withhold something (such as information) from

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Synonyms & Antonyms for holdout

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of holdout in a Sentence

Noun He says he might be a holdout at the start of the next season if the team doesn't agree to pay him more. He is expected to end his three-week holdout and join the team tomorrow. A few holdouts still use typewriters, but nearly everybody uses computers now. Verb we hoped our supply of firewood would hold out until power was restored luckily, the old outboard motor held out till we made it to shore
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While Biden and Sanders are closer than the Vermont senator was with Clinton and the two-term vice president has adopted some of his former rival's ideas, forming policy task forces, concerns persist regarding holdouts in Sanders's base. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Bernie Sanders delegates asked to sign pledge agreeing to play nice at Democratic convention," 21 May 2020 Rookie holdouts have become rare in the NFL as the current collective bargaining agreement slots contracts for draft picks. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions agree to contract with fourth-round NFL draft pick Logan Stenberg," 17 May 2020 Germany, long a holdout on deficit spending, pledged new debt worth almost 4.5% of its economic output. Jerrold Colten, Bloomberg.com, "Italy Struck by Deadliest Day as Virus Prompts Industry Shutdown," 10 May 2020 But for those who still wear fragrance, there is an opportunity for brands to convert e-commerce holdouts into fearless online shoppers. Rachel Strugatz, New York Times, "How Will We Buy Our Perfume Now?," 4 May 2020 But Telesco is less than a year removed from Melvin Gordon’s long holdout. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Top RB prospects should be encouraged — not bamboozled — by McCaffrey’s big deal," 18 Apr. 2020 Maestas said Catron County, New Mexico, long a holdout to wolf releases, has joined the conservation effort. Debra Utacia Krol, azcentral, "Mexican gray wolf population grows by 24% in the 2019 survey," 19 Mar. 2020 The detective is an analog, folksy holdout in a digital, big-city world. Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "Fish monsters, barking dogs, and roach patties: The films of Bong Joon-ho," 16 Feb. 2020 For days, the protesters have held police off from entering the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, or PolyU, fortifying their holdout with homemade fire bombs, giant sling shots, bricks, and bows and arrows. BostonGlobe.com, "As other protests raged across the city, Hong Kong’s High Court on Monday struck down a contentious ban on the wearing of face masks in public. The court found that the ban, enacted in October, violated the territory’s miniconstitution, known as the Basic Law.," 19 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For decades, cash bail has been held out by activists as an exemplar of unfairness in the criminal justice system, with wealth the primary factor that determines whether someone is in jail or free. Tim Arango, New York Times, "Why Liberal Californians Don’t Want to Go Back to Normal," 4 May 2020 Forward Draymond Green, who has been sidelined nearly two weeks with a sore left knee, was also held out for precautionary reasons. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Stephen Curry-less Warriors get blown out by Clippers as bigger concerns loom," 10 Mar. 2020 Russell was held out of the team's 128-116 loss to the Nuggets on Sunday, which was televised on NBA TV, for a planned rest day. Lex Pryor, USA TODAY, "NBA fines Timberwolves $25,000 for resting D'Angelo Russell," 28 Feb. 2020 Freshman Addison Patterson, who was coming off his best three-game stretch of the season, was held out of the No. oregonlive, "Addison Patterson held out of Oregon Ducks’ overtime win at Arizona," 22 Feb. 2020 Gonzalez is being held out of camp early with what's being described as a minor shoulder injury. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Where are recent ex-Brewers suiting up in spring training?," 14 Feb. 2020 Antti Raanta was held out of Saturday's game against the Boston Bruins with a lower-body injury of his own, but he was scheduled to start on Monday in Montreal. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper suffers 'setback' during morning skate in Montreal," 10 Feb. 2020 In a surprising move, the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals were held out of the first half lineup. Wells Dusenbury, sun-sentinel.com, "Marlins’ new jerseys unveiled; no Sunday Night Baseball appearances for Miami," 9 Dec. 2019 Additionally, cornerback Joejuan Williams and three offensive players — tackle Isaiah Wynn, guard Jermaine Eluemunor, and tight end Ryan Izzo — were held out. BostonGlobe.com, "Illness runs through Patriots locker room, sidelining eight at practice - The Boston Globe," 28 Nov. 2019

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


1908, in the meaning defined above


circa 1556, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for holdout

Time Traveler

The first known use of holdout was circa 1556

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Statistics for holdout

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Holdout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdout. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for holdout


How to pronounce hold out (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of holdout

: a person who refuses to reach an agreement until certain terms are met : a person who holds out
: an act of holding out for something
: a person who continues to do or use something after others have stopped doing or using it

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holdout

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