hold·​over | \ ˈhōld-ˌō-vər How to pronounce holdover (audio) \

Definition of holdover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that is held over

hold over

held over; holding over; holds over

Definition of hold over (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to continue (as in office) for a prolonged period

transitive verb

1a : postpone, defer
b : to retain in a condition or position from an earlier period
2 : to prolong the engagement of the film was held over another week

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Examples of holdover in a Sentence


He is the only holdover from their last championship team. This policy is a holdover from the previous administration.


the golf tournament had to be held over until the line of thunderstorms had passed through
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kosovo is considered by some to have the world’s best macchiato, apparently a holdover from workers who returned from Italy. Sarah Souli, Condé Nast Traveler, "Kosovo Is an All-Night Party—And Shows No Signs of Slowing Down," 26 Oct. 2018 Against this alarming backdrop, my silence started to feel like a holdover from a safer time. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Cindi Leive, Susan Collins, Serena Williams: Broadsheet July 2," 1 July 2018 Instagram offered the first strong signal that these holdovers of prior media were insufficient. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "'Stories’ Are for Smartphones," 3 May 2018 Some measures are holdovers that were introduced last year, but failed to advance. Melanie Mason, latimes.com, "California healthcare proposal unveiled at Capitol aims to build on Obamacare gains," 15 Mar. 2018 With only a second-round draft pick and no salary cap space, a new front office roster will likely hope improvement comes from holdovers from last season’s 39-43 team that missed the playoffs by four games. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' rookie Luke Kennard 'learned a lot' from Van Gundy," 16 May 2018 The holdovers from three straight Finals appearances, dubbed the Core Four -- James, Thompson, Love and Smith -- led the way Sunday afternoon, using that playoff experience to give the Cavaliers just enough of an edge. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Tristan Thompson stays ready, steps up and rewards Tyronn Lue's Game 7 gamble: 'That's the Tristan we know'," 30 Apr. 2018 Forward Jason Pominville, in his second stint with Buffalo, is the lone holdover from the 2006-07 team that won 10 in a row. John Wawrow, The Seattle Times, "Worst in NHL last season, Sabres are surging after 9-0 run," 26 Nov. 2018 Senior first baseman Hannah Theobald, the lone holdover from the 2015 team, bats cleanup. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "'They just attack the ball': Sisters Hailey and Rose Roach power Kaneland to state semifinals in softball," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dinner aside, most networking meetings were held over coffee or cocktails, where the bill can add up quickly. Audrey Henson, Vox, "Diversity on Capitol Hill starts with paying interns," 26 Dec. 2018 In a narrower sense, both fights are examples of the troubling level of influence that PewDiePie holds over his 76 million followers (and counting). Aja Romano, Vox, "PewDiePie resides at the center of what seems to be a growing divide between YouTube subcultures," 14 Dec. 2018 Last October when the initial fine had been announced, Taiwan’s FTC claimed that the patents Qualcomm holds over its chip designs kept other potential chip makers from finding a footing in the market. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Qualcomm and Taiwanese regulators settle $774 million antitrust suit," 10 Aug. 2018 EagleEyes was the unexpected result of a brainstorming session Dr. Gips held over lunch with another computer-science professor at Boston College, Peter Olivieri. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "James Gips Created Technology Allowing People to Use Their Eyes to Control Cursors," 29 June 2018 This is always a delicate question to answer, because none of us know exactly what the future holds over the next week, month or even year. Wes Moss, ajc, "Wes Moss: What you need to remember when navigating choppy markets," 22 May 2018 Here are some of the lower-profile acts to catch at this year's event, which is held over two weekends: April 13-15 and April 20-22. Mikael Wood, latimes.com, "Beyond Beyoncé: Here's who else you need to see at Coachella," 6 Apr. 2018 Republicans in Texas generally rely on independents and moderate Democrats to maintain their significant hold over state politics. Asher Stockler, Vox, "Texas independents break with tradition and go for Beto in a new poll," 28 Oct. 2018 The biggest beneficiary of a U.S. pullout – besides Islamist jihadis — would be Tehran, whose hold over Syria is deepening. Trudy Rubin, Philly.com, "Trump pulls an Obama on Syria | Trudy Rubin," 4 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holdover.' 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 holdover


1893, in the meaning defined above


1647, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Statistics for holdover

Last Updated

1 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for holdover

The first known use of holdover was in 1647

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More Definitions for holdover



English Language Learners Definition of holdover

US : someone or something that remains or is kept from an earlier time

hold over

intransitive verb

Legal Definition of hold over

: to remain in a position or condition one who holds over in possession of a building after the expiration of a term of years— B. N. Cardozo

Other Words from holdover

holdover noun

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holdover

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