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hold·​out ˈhōld-ˌau̇t How to pronounce holdout (audio)
: one that holds out (as in negotiations)
also : an instance of holding out

hold out

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held out; holding out; holds out

intransitive verb

: to remain unsubdued or unyielding
where 30 of the … refugees were still holding outAnna 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
: 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

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Iceland, too, looked like a possible holdout, but confirmed its participation on the final day of the deadline. Louis Staples, Rolling Stone, 10 May 2024 That output should dispel most concerns about Bentley’s decision to electrify its lineup, but for the holdouts there are the Edition 8 variants. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 10 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for holdout 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'holdout.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1908, in the meaning defined above


circa 1556, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of holdout was circa 1556

Dictionary Entries Near holdout

Cite this Entry

“Holdout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdout. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

hold out

: to remain in being : last
hope the food holds out
: to remain unyielding : refuse to surrender or give in
held out until help arrived
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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