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 entry 1 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for holdout

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The governors of a handful of holdout states -- including Texas, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Kansas-- issued mask mandates. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "If the United States were my patient: We aren't ready to celebrate yet," 3 July 2020 As the lone holdout among the states, California had granted conditional approval only in mid-April, two weeks after the merger. Scott Moritz, Fortune, "T-Mobile tries to back out of promise to create 1,000 California jobs," 23 June 2020 This year marks the 155th anniversary of the holiday when Texas – the last confederate holdout – officially abolished slavery in 1865. Fox News, "Army veteran and congressional candidate: Proposal to make Juneteenth federal holiday 'a step in the right direction'," 20 June 2020 Justin Holiday is currently the only potential holdout for the Indiana Pacers when play resumes next month in Orlando, according to a league source. J. Michael, The Indianapolis Star, "Source: Justin Holiday is uncertain whether to play when Pacers resume," 18 June 2020 The District will be the last holdout in the Washington region’s move to the next phase of recovery, but the city expects to enter Phase 2 next week. Julie Zauzmer, Washington Post, "D.C. looking to enter next phase of coronavirus recovery Monday, mayor says," 17 June 2020 The only holdout is Alameda County, which hasn’t yet offered a timeline for when eateries can begin inviting guests to dine with them again. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "63 Bay Area restaurants now open for outdoor dining," 12 June 2020 Pennsylvania, a leading energy exporter nationwide, has long been a holdout in the program. Washington Examiner, "House panel poised to thwart Pennsylvania’s entry into carbon trading program," 10 June 2020 Cook is prepared to continue the holdout through training camp and beyond, according to ESPN. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Vikings RB Dalvin Cook wages holdout in pursuit of new contract, per report," 8 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In Vu's video, officers hold out blue cans of what appeared to be pepper spray as protesters again demanded the reason for the arrests. Helen Wieffering, The Arizona Republic, "Protesters dispute arrests, use of force at Tempe chalk-drawing event," 29 June 2020 Audio buffs might hold out for a superior standard such as Dolby Atmos: an attempt to create an immersive, surround-sound experience in your living room. David Nield, Popular Science, "Find the best smart TV for your viewing habits," 28 June 2020 The owner of a whites-only lunch counter once had to hold out his arms for a couple of minutes so that people could see there weren’t any racist bones in them. Jason Adam Katzenstein, The New Yorker, "Everything Is an Emergency: Art on Medication," 22 June 2020 In ruling against the White House, the Supreme Court did hold out the possibility that the administration could try to rescind DACA at a later date. Morgan Marietta, The Conversation, "Supreme Court ruling on Dreamers sends a clear message to the White House: You have to tell the truth," 18 June 2020 The owner of a whites-only lunch counter once had to hold out his arms for a couple of minutes so that people could see there weren’t any racist bones in them. Kashana Cauley, The New Yorker, "A Brief, Entirely Real History of Suffering Endured by People Who’ve Been Called Racist," 9 June 2020 Ultimately, however, the particle physics community will hold out for confirmation from a different apparatus, such as the Belle II experiment in Japan, or one of the LHC’s two main detectors. Quanta Magazine, "Growing Anomalies at the Large Hadron Collider Raise Hopes," 26 May 2020 MSU’s win over Wake Forest in late December could have been even worse, but the weather held out compared to horror stories writers from Iowa and Wisconsin endured the previous two years. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State's road trips: Best and worst places to watch Spartans across the country," 4 June 2020 Indianapolis residents holding out hope for a Fourth of July fireworks display will have to wait until 2021. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, "Fourth of July fireworks are out in Indianapolis. IPL Downtown Freedom Fest canceled.," 3 June 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of holdout


1908, in the meaning defined above


circa 1556, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about holdout

Time Traveler for holdout

Time Traveler

The first known use of holdout was circa 1556

See more words from the same year

Statistics for holdout

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Holdout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdout. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on holdout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holdout

Comments on holdout

What made you want to look up holdout? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!