holding pattern

noun

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

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 However, Scott's office said in September that the city was in a holding pattern, awaiting the conclusion of HUD's investigation into Jarmon's complaint. Tess Vrbin, Arkansas Online, 7 May 2022 When and for how long he’ll be suspended remains unknown, leaving the Dodgers in somewhat of a holding pattern as teams rush to sign free agents before Wednesday night’s impending lockout. Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2021 Now the world is in a sort of information holding pattern. Helen Regan, CNN, 29 Nov. 2021 When Larry Krystkowiak was fired after the 2020-21 season, that put things into something of a holding pattern, even with Stefanovic having signed his letter months earlier. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Feb. 2022 The remaining defendants are largely in a holding pattern, with about 65 being held in custody, mostly accused of assaulting police officers. Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2022 Pretending to be students was a holding pattern, perhaps until a better answer presented itself. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 10 Mar. 2022 But, as Turkey’s almost 60-year flirtation with the European Union illustrates, there are ways of turning a candidacy for membership of an organization into an indefinite holding pattern. New York Times, 6 Feb. 2022 Wall Street stocks are in a holding pattern ahead of a policy decision from the Federal Reserve. James Willhite, WSJ, 15 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near holding pattern

holding-out partner

holding pattern

holding-up hammer

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Statistics for holding pattern

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Holding pattern.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holding%20pattern. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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