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

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

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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

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 Along with head athletic trainer Fred Hina, Ganong was one of two holdovers from Pitino's staff remaining at Louisville after the 2017-18 season. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Longtime University of Louisville strength coach Ray Ganong retires," 29 June 2018 One of the holdovers to Deer Park’s magical state championship run last spring, Martin helped pick the maroon and gold off the mat seven times. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park forces pivotal Game 3 after 2-1 victory over Summer Creek," 5 May 2018 Aesthetically, the combination of a stupefying realism (even the Renaissance Italians were in awe of it when northern masterpieces made their ways south) and holdover Medieval not-quite-right perspective is powerful and moving. Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘The Charterhouse of Bruges: Jan van Eyck, Petrus Christus and Jan Vos’ Review: Preparing for the End," 26 Sep. 2018 Unfortunately, the movie’s narrative putters on its way, contrived and bumpy but made diverting by performances from the two holdovers from the original film. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Sicario’ sequel straddles the border," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Reporters were brought wet towels to hold over their faces in case the smell became too strong. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "First Lady’s Plane Turned Around After ‘Minor Mechanical Issue’," 17 Oct. 2018 By knowing the answers, the attacker can ensure a persistent hold over the network. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Why, in 2018, is Microsoft adding security questions to Windows 10?," 5 Dec. 2018 Keller said the program aims to solve a persistent problem in addiction care: The decision to seek help can be fleeting — given that addiction does, after all, have a powerful hold over people’s brains. German Lopez, Vox, "A Vermont needle exchange isn’t just giving out syringes. It’s offering treatment on the spot.," 20 Nov. 2018 Despite a long and rich history of carpet making, Armenians have had to battle to maintain a hold over their own tradition. Glenn Dixon, Smithsonian, "The Age-Old Tradition of Armenian Carpet Making Refuses to Be Swept Under the Rug," 6 July 2018 In the Philippines, where Catholicism exerts a strong hold over the legal system, divorce is not an option for a majority of citizens leaving women in abusive relationships for all of their lives. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "On Sending Women Home to Die," 18 June 2018 In addition, Rasmus said the top two bands will be offered the chance to perform at the Jaycee’s annual Last Fling, which is held over the Labor Day weekend. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Indian Prairie D204 Foundation seeking bands for its Back to School Bash competition," 29 May 2018 There are those who believe that the Russians have some hold over Mr. Trump. Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, "The Fight With the West Is Isolating Russia. But That Isn’t Stopping Putin.," 17 Apr. 2018 Danske is Denmark’s largest bank, holding over a third of the country’s customer deposits. Bradley Hope, WSJ, "Bank at Center of Money-Laundering Probe Knew of Russian Blacklist Clients," 18 Sep. 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

6 Mar 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

More from Merriam-Webster on holdover

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holdover

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