hold·​up | \ ˈhōld-ˌəp How to pronounce holdup (audio) \

Definition of holdup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : delay
2 : a robbery carried out at gunpoint

hold up

held up; holding up; holds up

Definition of hold up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to rob at gunpoint
2 : delay, impede
3 : to call attention to : single out his work was held up to ridicule hold this up as perfectionThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

intransitive verb

: to continue in the same condition without failing or losing effectiveness or force she's holding up under the strain music that holds up twenty years later

Examples of holdup in a Sentence

Noun There have been a series of holdups at local banks. a holdup in construction due to the weather Verb held up mail delivery until we had a permanent address traffic was held up for miles by the accident
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If that type of holdup persists, Waxenberg suggested the MARB may need to ask state lawmakers to pass special legislation and appoint a board or individual to run the city for the state. Andrew Brown, Hartford Courant, 29 July 2022 The holdup has clouded U.S. investment plans for a number of big chip manufacturers. Dan Strumpf, WSJ, 24 July 2022 Authorities initially sought the serial violent robbers after a holdup occurred in Ontario just after midnight Monday, followed by a robbery at a 7-Eleven store in Upland about 40 minutes later. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2022 Jagger Freeman, 28, planned the Feb. 12, 2019, holdup that resulted in Detective Brian Simonsen's death, Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz said. Fox News, 7 July 2022 Police are trying to track down an armed robbery suspect sought in connection with a holdup at a northwest Atlanta gas station last month. Matt Bruce, ajc, 21 June 2022 News that the recent crime wave rolling through cities nationwide had penetrated my circle of friends triggered an old emotional trauma from a holdup on a vacation in the 1970s. Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune, 15 June 2022 The Arizona Department of Housing said Chase Bank actually was responsible for the holdup in disbursing funds to Torzone. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, 25 Apr. 2022 Kosovo's culture minister Hajrulla Ceku, said the holdup resulted from festival organizers seeking a 99-year lease. Llazar Semini, ajc, 15 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even if the addendum doesn’t hold up under scrutiny, the damage to Murray’s reputation is done. Kent Somers, USA TODAY, 26 July 2022 Even if the addendum doesn’t hold up under scrutiny, the damage to Murray’s reputation is done. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 25 July 2022 The Blazers just might have enough front court depth after all if the summer performances of Watford and Walker hold up. oregonlive, 21 July 2022 Jeff Kent may also be losing support, if the Tracker’s numbers at the one-third mark hold up when final results are announced at the end of this month. Dan Schlossberg, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 Hairstylist Vernon François then styled her dark hair into an elegant braided updo to hold up her couture crown. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 July 2022 In the city's Tsim Sha Tsui district, just across the water from where the formal handover anniversary ceremonies were held, a group of about 30 people gathered to hold up the Chinese national flag and a patriotic banner. Nectar Gan, Simone Mccarthy And Kathleen Magramo, CNN, 1 July 2022 If Cadillac's acceleration figures hold up in our testing, then the V should cut over 1.5 seconds off the regular Escalade's 60-mph run. Greg Fink, Car and Driver, 13 June 2022 But Katharine Bodde, New York Civil Liberties Union assistant policy director, has said New York's approach will hold up better in court and prohibit more kinds of discrimination against pregnant people. Marina Villeneuve, BostonGlobe.com, 1 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holdup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of holdup


1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1851, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Dictionary Entries Near holdup

hold up


holdup man

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Statistics for holdup

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Holdup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdup. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for holdup


hold·​up | \ ˈhōld-ˌəp How to pronounce holdup (audio) \

Kids Definition of holdup

1 : robbery by an armed robber
2 : delay entry 1 Why aren't we moving? What's the holdup?



Legal Definition of holdup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an attempted or completed robbery carried out with the use of force and especially at gunpoint

hold up

transitive verb

Legal Definition of hold up (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make the victim of a holdup : rob at gunpoint

More from Merriam-Webster on holdup

Nglish: Translation of holdup for Spanish Speakers


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