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 the Royal Oak, Troy and Grosse Pointe hospitals getting slammed, the Wayne campus was put in a holding pattern in case beds ran out. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Beaumont hospital in Wayne to reopen as surge never came," 1 May 2020 The current holding pattern, however, has Yowell frustrated. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Former Notre Dame Prep QB Cam Yowell's strange football odyssey takes detour to Auburn," 4 Apr. 2020 The league, like most of the world, is in a holding pattern waiting for the worst of the virus to run its course. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "If the Spurs’ season is over, now what?," 14 Mar. 2020 Albeit with a significant wrinkle Cassidy and GM Don Sweeney intentionally worked into the equation over the last month, starting with the reassigning of forwards Brett Ritchie (now in Providence) and David Backes (now in a career holding pattern). Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, "Anton Blidh makes impression blocking shots," 2 Feb. 2020 This awkward holding pattern kept up until an event that shook the entire Roman world: Octavian declared war on Mark Antony. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Mariamne I," 18 Dec. 2019 Still, there are questions about how long the holding pattern can last. Will Weissert, chicagotribune.com, "Bernie Sanders still wants a revolution, but so do many of his Democratic presidential rivals," 19 Sep. 2019 And with their sunflowers out of sync, some farmers have found themselves in a bit of a holding pattern. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Heat Wave Causing Sunflowers to Bloom Ahead of Schedule This Year," 22 July 2019 The entire front office congregated in the concourse, a bizarre holding pattern before the NBA eventually cancelled their game. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Clippers’ seismic Kawhi Leonard move shakes NBA, but Nuggets believe in their foundation," 6 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for holding pattern

Time Traveler

The first known use of holding pattern was circa 1952

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Statistics for holding pattern

Last Updated

10 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Holding pattern.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holding%20pattern. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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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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