hold·over | \ˈhōld-ˌō-vər \

Definition of holdover 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: one that is held over

hold 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But for meaningful success next season and long term, the young trio of roster holdovers must live up to their potential. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Job 1 for new Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey? Develop young talent," 24 June 2018 With Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber as the only notable holdovers, the Buccaneers used a second-round draft choice on Southern California running back Ronald Jones II. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Buccaneers training camp questions: Can Jameis Winston bounce back from suspension?," 5 July 2018 The Chargers and Barons are holdovers in the division from last year, while the Oilers are up a division after competing in Division 3. Matt Szabo, latimes.com, "New CIF Southern Section Open Division offers intrigue in girls' tennis," 9 June 2018 The government says the reforms are all intended to make the courts more responsive to the will of the people — and to free the judiciary from corrupt judges or communist-era holdovers. Marc Santora, New York Times, "Polish Crisis Deepens as Judges Condemn Their Own Court," 5 July 2018 The Phillies’ latest victory was brought to you by two holdovers from the leanest of seasons and some sage advice from the grandfather of the No. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Odubel Herrera leads Phillies to win over Pirates," 20 Apr. 2018 The off-season additions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, in addition to holdovers Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana, give the Brewers four outfielders accustomed to regular playing time. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers manager Craig Counsell: Having too many good players is an asset, not a problem," 27 Mar. 2018 England made eight changes to the team that started its rout of Panama in the last round, with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, defender John Stones and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek the lone holdovers. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Belgium Beats England in World Cup’s No-Win Game," 28 June 2018 Built To Spill is an invaluable holdover from the era in which electric guitars were the dominant sound in popular music. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Break out your flannel: Built to Spill will thrill at Middle of the Map Fest," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Multiple demonstrations, some involving thousands of people, have been held over the last several weekends in larger cities across the United States against President Trump’s immigration policies. Phil Diehl, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Carlsbad rethinking response to demonstration," 2 July 2018 Since Bitcoin began in 2009, the blockchain has come to hold over 160 gigabytes worth of data about every time a Bitcoin is sent between two digital wallets. New York Times, "Confused About Blockchains? Here’s What You Need to Know," 27 June 2018 Protests have been held over the rights of citizens to display Confederate flags. Christine Hauser, BostonGlobe.com, "Virginia school drops Confederate general’s name in favor of Obama’s," 20 June 2018 Even if this particular deal doesn’t go through, recent events show that Ms. Merkel’s hold over her coalition — much less the European order — could be getting shakier. New York Times, "Germany’s Europe-Shaking Political Crisis Over Migrants, Explained," 3 July 2018 Economics has always maintained its tidal hold over the ebb and flow of pedestrian safety, and politicians seem perennially inclined toward infrastructure that favors cars. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "As Pedestrian Deaths Spike, Scientists Scramble for Answers," 22 Mar. 2018 Yet Ramaphosa’s tenuous hold over the African National Congress constrained his ability to appoint a cabinet entirely of his choosing. Bloomberg.com, "Ramaphosa Walks Tightrope in South African Cabinet Overhaul," 27 Feb. 2018 Print subscribers get a password for your existing account here How much sway will the wildest desires of grassroots conservatives hold over Texas legislators in the next regular session? Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "Republican activists striving for more," 14 June 2018 SUBSCRIBE TODAY Schooley spent his 73rd birthday Saturday in Wyandotte County jail, where he had been held over the weekend on $500,000 bond. Steve Vockrodt, kansascity, "Judge says no to Verruckt designer's request to reduce $500,000 bond | The Kansas City Star," 9 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.

See More

First Known Use of holdover


1893, in the meaning defined above


1647, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about holdover

Statistics for holdover

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for holdover

The first known use of holdover was in 1647

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for holdover



English Language Learners Definition of holdover

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on holdover

See words that rhyme with holdover

Comments on holdover

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!