holdup

1 of 2

noun

hold·​up ˈhōld-ˌəp How to pronounce holdup (audio)
variants or hold-up
plural holdups or hold-ups
1
: delay
There was a holdup with my order.
What's the holdup? [=what is the reason for the delay?]
2
: a robbery carried out at gunpoint

hold up

2 of 2

verb

held up; holding up; holds up

transitive verb

1
: to rob at gunpoint
2
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
That announcement happened in 2021, but faced delays from legal holdups and investigations, including fraud/insider trading charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Brian Cheung, NBC News, 25 Mar. 2024 The number of banks had not quite doubled between 1944 and 1964, but holdups had soared from 20 in 1945 to 121 in 1963 for the L.A. metro area, according to a Times article. Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2024 According to Booth's letter, the holdup with GM lies in an accounting rule that may penalize the pension fund if too many people retire at once. Detroit Free Press, 13 Feb. 2024 Despite the high holdup numbers, L.A. had one of the best apprehension records — with suspects in half of the city’s cases in 1963 arrested, police said at the time. Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2024 Irving police are trying to identify the robber shown in surveillance video of the holdup on Friday. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 2 Mar. 2024 The agency has been able to reroute other aid shipments through Port Said in Egypt, but Lazzarini warned Friday that the holdup means further difficulties in the already challenging task of aid distribution to Gaza. Julia Frankel The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 10 Feb. 2024 The holdup here is getting to the point where the inspections can begin. Tribune News Service, Hartford Courant, 15 Jan. 2024 The latest setback follows years of holdups and budget overruns with the Artemis program. Denise Chow, NBC News, 9 Jan. 2024
Verb
The same thing can be done by holding up a kitchen colander, and projecting dozens of images at the same time through its tiny holes. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, 8 Apr. 2024 The lightweight and breathable hat held up well to the elements on the cruise. Becca Blond, Travel + Leisure, 7 Apr. 2024 Pool One of the most emotional moments of the trial was when Prosecutor Michelle Manning held up some of the evidence police recovered from the bags Fotis Dulos had dumped on Albany Avenue, including a bloody shirt that belonged to Jennifer Dulos. Emily Wichick Hourihane, CBS News, 6 Apr. 2024 The dogs’ brains responded differently when the owner said a toy name but held up a different object. Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 6 Apr. 2024 Despite being worn quite often, our tester said that these held up remarkably well and had no real signs of wear and tear. Jessica Booth, Parents, 5 Apr. 2024 The site will be able to hold up to 2,300 service members previously located in hotels around the region. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Apr. 2024 This kind of legislation’s ability to hold up in court remains unclear. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 5 Apr. 2024 While Zelensky has repeatedly asked Western allies for extra assistance – and the world’s attention has largely shifted to the military situation in Israel and Gaza – a multibillion-dollar US aid package is held up by congressional wrangling. James Legge, CNN, 27 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'holdup.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1851, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of holdup was in 1837

Dictionary Entries Near holdup

Cite this Entry

“Holdup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holdup. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

holdup

1 of 2 noun
hold·​up
1
: a robbery at gunpoint
2

hold up

2 of 2 verb
(ˈ)hōl-ˈdəp
1
2
: to rob at gunpoint
3
: to continue without failing or losing effectiveness
holding up under the stress
music that holds up twenty years later

Legal Definition

holdup

1 of 2 noun
hold·​up
: an attempted or completed robbery carried out with the use of force and especially at gunpoint

hold up

2 of 2 transitive verb
: to make the victim of a holdup : rob at gunpoint

More from Merriam-Webster on holdup

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