hold off

held off; holding off; holds off

Definition of hold off

transitive verb

1 : to block from an objective : delay
2 : to defer action on : postpone hold off a decision
3 : to fight to a standoff : withstand

intransitive verb

: to defer or temporarily stop doing something

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Examples of hold off in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Any rain chances should tend to hold off until after dark as the front approaches again as a cold front. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Much nicer if still breezy today, with summerlike temperatures Sunday," 1 May 2021 Even his heroics couldn’t hold off Colorado, who had its own hero in senior point guard McKinley Wright. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "USC’s late surge falls short in Pac-12 tournament loss to Colorado," 12 Mar. 2021 Knowing the new cutoffs for the tax brackets can be valuable in choosing which account to tap in December - and for how much - or whether to hold off until early January for an optional withdrawal. Rich Exner, cleveland, "What are the new tax brackets, standard deductions for the 2020-2021 federal tax returns: That’s Rich! short," 29 Dec. 2020 If families could simply hold off on gathering as much as possible, then the region could avoid yet another surge of admissions just before Christmas. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County sets a COVID hospitalization record as new surge hits home," 24 Nov. 2020 Forecasters indicate rain could hold off until as late as 4 p.m. oregonlive, "Portland Monday weather: Patchy early fog, then rain through afternoon," 23 Nov. 2020 Staffing concerns in seven Pennsylvania counties have caused election officials to hold off on counting mail-in ballots until Wednesday. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Election turnout rate reaches 120-year high with 160M voters," 4 Nov. 2020 But the Lions couldn’t hold off Miami’s attacking onslaught, ceding an own goal in the 45th minute when a ball ricocheted off the foot of Robin Jansson into the net. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando City gives up late goal, falls to rival Inter Miami," 24 Oct. 2020 The Steelers started their 2020 campaign off with a 26-16 win over the New York Giants, while the Broncos couldn't hold off the Tennessee Titans and fell 16-14. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers: Live stream, how to watch, odds, time," 20 Sep. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for hold off

Time Traveler

The first known use of hold off was in the 15th century

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Statistics for hold off

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hold off.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hold%20off. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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