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

The holdovers: Kenyan Drake, Charles Harris, Reshad Jones, DeVante Parker, and Cordrea Tankersley. BostonGlobe.com, "PREDICTION, OR DO YOU THINK DAN MARINO STILL GIVES HIS RECEIVERS ISOTONER GLOVES FOR CHRISTMAS?," 14 Sep. 2019 The lone holdover, 6-foot, 195-pound K.J. Hill has upped his production each year, from 18 catches for 262 yards as a freshman to 56 grabs for 549 yards in 2017 to 70 for 885 last year. The Si Staff, SI.com, "2019 Preview: If Justin Fields Lives Up to Hype, Ohio State Will Be Tough to Beat," 20 Aug. 2019 In Sumter County, three of the seven sitting school board members are holdovers, their terms already expired. Washington Post, "In Carter’s home county, voting rights case tests democracy," 10 Aug. 2019 The official visit Washington, the lone holdover from Beilein's staff, paints a clearer picture of how Michigan was able to salvage Wagner's recruitment. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan rallied to save Franz Wagner's recruitment, after John Beilein left," 22 May 2019 Among holdovers, Millennium and Lionsgate's Angel Has Fallen fell to No. 2 in its third outing with $6 million or a domestic total of $53.5 million. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Terrifies With $91M U.S. Debut," 8 Sep. 2019 Altidore is among just six holdovers from then-coach Bruce Arena’s roster in Trinidad, including four other starters: Pulisic, defenders Omar Gonzalez, midfielder Michael Bradley and forward Paul Arriola. Ronald Blum, The Denver Post, "USMNT Gold Cup roster announced, Rapids’ Jonathan Lewis makes the cut," 6 June 2019 Some prominent holdovers from the Mugabe era may, it is speculated, at last be charged with corruption. The Economist, "Even in death, Robert Mugabe worries his successor," 14 Sep. 2019 Jackson’s injury in a joint practice Aug. 8 with the Rams added to the turnover, leaving Hudson and left tackle Kolton Miller as the only holdovers from last season projected to start Week 1. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders have questions at both guard positions entering Week 1," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Russia and Ukraine swapped prisoners who had been held over the conflict in east Ukraine. The Economist, "Politics this week," 12 Sep. 2019 The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder was the 17-6A Offensive Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore and holds over 15 offers including Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas and others. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Cy Park welcomes ‘measuring stick’ in experienced Cy-Fair," 4 Sep. 2019 The last time a college all-star team beat an NFL champion was 1963, a loss Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi held over his players for years. Ralph D. Russo, The Denver Post, "NFL at 100: How college football became pipeline to NFL," 8 Aug. 2019 If that rate holds over the next four years, a school like Wisconsin will get $100 million more in distributed revenue than one of college football’s thoroughbreds, USC. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott Striving Towards an Enhanced On-Field Product," 24 July 2019 The event was held over six days in the capital and was initiated, organizers said, with the goal of inspiring diversity in content while forging links with the international film community. Mathew Scott, The Hollywood Reporter, "Malaysian Film Industry Looks to Cast Off Shadow of 1MDB Scandal," 24 July 2019 Much of the financial advantage that Lee holds over Lundquist is from donations from businesses, including construction and engineering firms and local businesses such as Northridge Toyota. Maloy Moore, latimes.com, "This Valley candidate got more votes with less money. Can she do it again?," 11 July 2019 Earlier today, Korean tabloid Dispatch released images of a conversation allegedly held over text message through which B.I expressed interest in purchasing drugs in 2016. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "B.I Departs iKON Amid Drug Purchase Allegations: Reports," 12 June 2019 The second, held over three days in May, was KAABOO Texas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. San Diego Union-Tribune, "KAABOO Del Mar festival celebrates fifth year with growth and contraction," 12 Sep. 2019

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

16 Oct 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

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).


involving a confidence or trust

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