holding pattern


Definition of holding pattern

1 : the usually oval course flown (as over an airport) by aircraft awaiting clearance especially to land
2 : a state of waiting or suspended activity or progress

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Examples of holding pattern in a Sentence

Our plane was in a holding pattern for almost an hour because of the fog. repair work on the bridge was in a holding pattern for the duration of the winter

Recent Examples on the Web

With both Leonard and Durant scheduled for meetings with multiple suitors, the rest of the league — including the Spurs — begin July in a holding pattern awaiting those two dominoes to fall. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "Spurs set for quiet start to free agency," 29 June 2019 The retailer’s Hollywood location, which opened to great fanfare in 2001, has been in a kind of holding pattern since news of the possible development came to light a few years ago. Randall Roberts, latimes.com, "Amoeba Music building set to be replaced — but where’s the store's new location?," 25 June 2019 In many ways, this feels like a holding pattern, particularly because the Heat will need the salary-cap space going forward of Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, as well, potentially, as the cap space of James Johnson and Dion Waiters. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Is the Heat’s upside again the Race for No. 8?," 23 June 2019 Several Greater Cincinnati Democrats, including Aftab Pureval, Alicia Reece and Jill Schiller, are in a holding pattern awaiting the high court's decision. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: It's not just Democrats thinking they can defeat Steve Chabot. See which Republican considers challenging Cincinnati congressman," 20 June 2019 Officials are poised to keep interest rates steady at their two-day meeting that ends Wednesday, with solid growth and muted price measures supporting their holding pattern. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Inflation Is Likely to Fuel Discussion as Fed Officials Meet," 29 Apr. 2019 But the result, for the families, is a holding pattern. Dara Lind, Vox, "500 fathers in immigration detention are going on hunger strike," 2 Aug. 2018 According to Indonesia’s official report about the Jan. 6 incident, the co-pilot flying the Batik Air plane failed to follow altitude restrictions after air-traffic controllers instructed both planes to enter a holding pattern near the field. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Lion Air Crash Puts Boeing’s Popular 737 Max in Spotlight," 29 Oct. 2018 Now is in something of a holding pattern before its major redesign that is expected sometime next spring. Chris Welch, The Verge, "The best streaming TV apps," 12 Oct. 2018

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

circa 1952, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for holding pattern

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for holding pattern

The first known use of holding pattern was circa 1952

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More Definitions for holding pattern

holding pattern


English Language Learners Definition of holding pattern

: a course flown by an aircraft while waiting for permission to land

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for holding pattern

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