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 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 RB Austin Ekeler: The pride of Eaton, Colo., and Western State, Ekeler has picked up the bulk of the run-game duties because of Melvin Gordon’s holdout. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Chargers Scouting Report: L.A. opens up AFC West play against Broncos," 2 Oct. 2019 The end of Melvin Gordon’s holdout and his return to the Los Angeles Chargers was one of the big stories in the NFL leading into the fourth Sunday of the 2019 season. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "See Anniston’s Troymaine Pope score his first NFL touchdown on all-state connection," 29 Sep. 2019 In fact, the closest correlation to Ramsey’s situation — elite player, wants a new contract — is Khalil Mack’s holdout with the Raiders. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "The Deets: Why Jalen Ramsey will not be coming to the Bay," 18 Sep. 2019 In 2018, linebacker Khalil Mack’s holdout prompted a September trade to the Chicago Bears from the Oakland Raiders. New York Times, "The Ezekiel Elliott Drama Ends: He’s Back With the Cowboys," 4 Sep. 2019 Will Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout continue into the season? oregonlive, "Fantasy Football 2019: Former Oregon Duck Royce Freeman among 10 sleepers at running back," 2 Sep. 2019 Pollard has proven to be adept both running and receiving and could have nice stand-alone value in fantasy leagues if Elliott continues to holdout. Dr. Roto, SI.com, "Fantasy Takeaways: Daniel Jones, Miles Sanders Impress in Week 2 of Preseason," 20 Aug. 2019 House leaders have presented the findings to GOP holdouts. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "Va. House speaker drops a few names — Trump and Pence — in Medicaid pitch," 21 Feb. 2018 California is also a holdout in a separate probe into Google’s market dominance. Washington Post, "California discloses Facebook probe, sues for documents," 6 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are at the end of their lifecycles, leaving many to hold out until shiny, new gadgets are released next year, and no game has captured attention like last year's impressive slate of releases. Lisa Marie Segarra, Fortune, "The Game Industry Is Suffering from A Battle Royale ‘Hangover’," 20 Nov. 2019 Williams, 31, had been holding out from the team since June despite being signed through 2020. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Trent Williams ends holdout, reports to Washington Redskins," 29 Oct. 2019 Syrian Kurdish forces appeared to be holding out in some areas of the town. BostonGlobe.com, "CEYLANPINAR, Turkey — Turkey’s military said it captured a key Syrian border town under heavy bombardment Saturday in its most significant gain since an offensive against Kurdish fighters began four days ago, with no sign of relenting despite mounting international criticism.," 13 Oct. 2019 Syrian Kurdish forces appeared to be holding out in some areas of the town. Author: Mehmet Guzel, Anchorage Daily News, "Turkish forces say they’ve captured key Syrian border town," 13 Oct. 2019 Syrian Kurdish forces appeared to be holding out in some areas of the town. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Turkish forces say they’ve captured key Syrian border town," 12 Oct. 2019 The Cheetah Girls might have gone their separate ways when the final movie aired in 2008, but fans of the group have been holding out hope for a reunion (or a reboot) ever since. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, ""The Masked Singer" Fans Think Black Widow and Flamingo Might Be Cheetah Girls," 3 Oct. 2019 Running back Melvin Gordon, who had been holding out for a better contract instead of playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, has ended his holdout and reported to practice on Thursday. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Melvin Gordon returns to Chargers, but will he play against Dolphins on Sunday?," 26 Sep. 2019 With running back Melvin Gordon continuing to hold out in a contract dispute, the Chargers rely heavily on Ekeler. John Mcclain, Houston Chronicle, "Texans: Looking ahead to Chargers," 15 Sep. 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

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Holdout.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdout. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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

Comments on holdout

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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